Monday, August 13, 2012

Talk away pain? Now you’re talking!

Your low-back ache can be considerably aggravated by your thoughts and notions. Try a bit of CBT, and you might just be talked out of causing debilitating pain to yourself

Roughly 80% of the world suffers from this at some point in their life. It is singularly responsible for more sick leaves and disability than any other disorder in the world. Popularly characterised by a lady whimpering ‘ooh, aah, ouch!’ on the telly, lumbago or low-back pain is what we’re talking about, and talking about the pain is exactly what the doctors are advising to its victims! The study was conducted by Professor Sarah E Lamb and her colleagues from The University of Warwick and the University of Oxford, and their findings were published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), a short-term treatment that challenges and reframes negative beliefs, has been judged as an economical option to aid recovery by this study. While back pain is a physical problem, a person’s mental make-up affects the way he/she manages their health, which can significantly benefit or deteriorate the patient’s condition. The study found that people who were provided with CBT group-support sessions experienced greater physical fitness and enjoyed a better quality of life than those who were given a one-off advice session.

CBT sessions involve talking about beliefs relating to physical activity, helping resolve negativity and teaching patients to relax and be less fearful about their situation. Most people’s reaction to lower-back ache is to avoid activity, which only goes on to make the muscles more stiff and so contribute to the existing pain. CBT ensures people don’t fall into this vicious circle, and instead provides advice on appropriate activities they should pursue for faster recovery. At the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, CBT is an accepted tool for the treatment of backaches and a psychologist is a member of the team treating backaches.