Medical experts have seen how pain education and cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT classes effectively manage chronic back pain; even a one-time pain management class can help. Individuals experiencing back pain often try a variety of remedies to find relief. These include:
- Eliminating activities
- Over-the-counter medications
- Prescription pain medications
- Support devices and braces
- Pain specialists
All treatment options can help alleviate discomfort and pain, but sometimes taking a pain management class and getting educated on what is happening in the body has been shown to help individuals gain a better understanding helping them to find relief. A recent study suggests that a one-time class may be all that is needed. These quick classes can give more individuals immediate access to information and skill sets that can help reduce the pain and everything that comes with it.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Classes
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for chronic pain provides individuals with information and pain management skills. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is handled by a therapist and can take multiple individual or group sessions that last one or two hours. A session can include:
- Education on pain and how it works.
- How thoughts and emotions influence pain.
- How pain affects mood.
- Sleep and pain.
- Activity and action plan development.
Chronic lower back pain or CLBP is considered a physical ailment; cognitive behavioral therapy can provide mental health strategies to manage symptoms better. For example, individuals with chronic pain begin to fear doing activities that could increase their pain level and begin to constantly worry about worsening the injury or creating a new injury. This can lead to severe stress that exacerbates the chronic symptoms and can lead to other health issues.
Single Session Vs. Multiple
Doctors and medical experts are trying to make pain education and relief skills more accessible. They do not require multiple sessions and instead consist of single-session, two-hour management classes. A randomized clinical trial of adults with chronic low back pain was compared to:
- 2-hour pain relief skills class known as Empowered Relief.
- 2-hour back pain health education class with no skill set training.
- 16-hour, 8-session cognitive behavioral therapy group class.
The study found that three months after treatment, the Empowered Relief group showed positive results. In the randomized trial, a single-session pain relief class was found to be non-inferior to an eight-session cognitive behavioral therapy class to:
- Reduce pain-related distress
- Pain intensity
- Pain interference
The individuals that completed the one-time 2-hour class reported positive results after three months. They found that the course had significantly reduced:
- Pain intensity
- Pain interference
- Sleep disturbance
However, doctors caution that the two-hour class does not replace comprehensive cognitive-behavioral therapy. This is to get individuals on a positive path of pain management that can further develop into a healthy lifestyle. The objective is to create a range of options that meets an individual’s needs. The most significant advantage of a two-hour class is the convenience. Individuals can participate in these classes in person or online.
Supplements That Can Help Improve Lean Body Mass
A few dietary supplements that directly support body composition improvement.
Protein powders are common nutritional/dietary supplements. Protein powders come in a variety of sources:
Rice protein is a plant-based protein powder used by vegans, vegetarians, and individuals who can’t tolerate dairy products. Research has found that rice protein has similar effects on body composition as whey. Scientists found that individuals who took rice protein and individuals that took whey protein both experienced positive body composition changes.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (Oct 2015) “Psychological therapies for the management of chronic neuropathic pain in adults.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6485637/
Darnall BD, Roy A, Chen AL, et al. Comparison of a Single-Session Pain Management Skills Intervention With a Single-Session Health Education Intervention and 8 Sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(8):e2113401. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.13401
Future Neurology. (Nov 2014) “Neuroimaging chronic pain: what have we learned and where are we going?” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5289824/
HRB Open Research. (Aug 2020) “The relative effectiveness of psychotherapeutic techniques and delivery modalities for chronic pain: a protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7459872/
Journal of Psychosomatic Research. (Jan 2010) “Mindfulness-based stress reduction for chronic pain conditions: variation in treatment outcomes and role of home meditation practice.”
National Institutes of Health. (March 2016) “Meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy ease low back pain.” https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/meditation-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-ease-low-back-pain
Pain. (Feb 2008). “Mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic low back pain in older adults: A randomized controlled pilot study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2254507/
Pain and Therapy. (Jun 2020) “Rehabilitation for Low Back Pain: A Narrative Review for Managing Pain and Improving Function in Acute and Chronic Conditions.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7203283/