Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Effective for Chronic Back Pain

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In a study published in Lancet 26 February 2010 researchers reported that a type of psychotherapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) significantly improves subacute and chronic back pain both short term and for up to 1 year compared to medical advice alone. Seven hundred patients with low back pain were in the study and 468 were treated with up to 6 sessions of group cognitive behavioral therapy and 233 received a 15 minute session of medical management advice that included information on staying active and the appropriate use of pain medications. After 12 months, 59% of those in the cognitive behavioral group reported recovery from their low back pain compared to 31% in the other group. In addition, 65% of those in the CBT group reported satisfaction with their treatment compared to 28% in the other group. The researchers concluded that CBT is a cost effective treatment for low back pin when compared to the cost of chiropractic care, and acupuncture.

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