Chronic back pain is a condition that is experienced by millions of people, and the yearly costs for treating it are staggering. Despite embarking on trips to physical therapy, taking prescription painkillers, and receiving routine spinal injections, many individuals are unable to find sufficient relief. Some patients are turning to alternative non-surgical spine therapies, such as meditation, and are surprised to find that they are enjoying positive results. In fact, studies have shown that there is more involved with pain than physical trauma and its automatic response.
The intensity of discomfort ranges from person to person and is enhanced by factors such as emotional distress, cultural influences, and past experiences with pain. Practicing meditation allows some people to manage the psychological influences that play a role in their discomfort, thereby allowing them to have a less agonizing experience.
Researchers were amazed to find that test subjects who started practicing meditation experienced pain relief in a relatively short span of time. Intense meditation has been shown to decrease responses in the sympathetic nervous system that are responsible for the natural “fight or flight” reaction that causes an increase in heart rate, elevated blood pressure, constriction of blood vessels, and magnification of the perception of pain. The same sympathetic response occurs during periods of stress, and the calming effects of meditation help manage anxiety and decrease discomfort.
Patients who develop a regular habit of meditation have also been shown to make positive changes in their brains that help reduce the perception of pain. Over time, the three areas in the cerebrum that are involved in processing discomfort can be altered by meditation in a way that changes the emotional response to injury and therefore allows the patient to cope with pain more effectively.
If you’ve exhausted all known spine treatment options and pain is limiting your ability to live your daily life, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration and schedule an in-person appointment. Our team of doctors specialize in spine treatment ranging from non-surgical methods to minimally invasive spine surgery in Beverly Hills. Call us at (310) 828-7757 and take the first step toward a more comfortable life today.