A UK trial has shown that after six sessions of group therapy, participants back pain was significantly reduced. As part of the trial the 600 hundred participants were also offered standard GP treatment which included pain medication.
There are many rumours and old wives tales relating to back pain and what we should and should’t be doing. The aim of these sessions was partly to tackle a number of these unclear and unhelpful beliefs around back pain and physical activity and in turn help the patients better understand and manage their condition.
Pain in the lower back is one of the most common complaints that GPs deal with. Usually patients are given standard medication and are encouraged to have an active lifestyle. In the study the 600 participants were offered six group therapy sessions in addition to the standard treatment and were then monitored for a year.
The sessions used cognitive behavioural therapy and were set up to discuss certain beliefs and misconceptions around doing physical activity and counter negative thoughts about back pain and its restrictions as well as relaxation techniques.
The sessions lasted around an hour and a half and were designed to help people get over the prospect of hurting themselves further and also advised them on how to get active again whilst avoiding flare ups.
In terms of cost it was found that the therapy was a relatively cheap way of improving quality of life and was also better value for money than other treatments such as acupuncture.