Mind over painkillers (and MRI) for back pain?

A type of meditation has proven superior to drug treatment when it comes to easing frequently imaging-intensive pain in the lower back.

In a study published March 22 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Daniel Cherkin, PhD, of the Seattle-based Group Health Research Institute, and colleagues describe how patients using a technique called “mindfulness-based stress reduction” or MBSR, showed more meaningful improvements in physical function and pain level than patients under conventional care.

The finding could have ramifications for imaging, as low-back pain has become a poster child for overutilization of MRI in particular, with its attendant contributions to the skyrocketing overall cost of healthcare.  

HealthDay has the story on the research from a consumer’s eye view: