Could meditation help with my chronic lower-back pain?

Could meditation help with my chronic lower-back pain?

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Michael Roizen, M.D.
ABOUT THE EXPERT

Michael Roizen, M.D.

As chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, Michael F. Roizen, MD, is on a mission to inform... Read more

Meditation helps reverse the pain associated with a number of chronic conditions and can probably even reverse certain diseases, including arthritis, type 2 diabetes and autoimmune conditions.

No matter what's causing your back pain, it's one of those symptoms that can actually be made worse when you choose to focus on the pain. Instead, take steps to diminish your focus and the stress in your back muscles. Muscle inflammation and spasm and nerve irritation are the most common gang members in back pain. Like a teenager recruiting his friends, the more friends the pain recruits, the bigger the party gets.

The way to stop the pain is to get rid of these unwanted "friends" as soon as possible. That can be done with several medicinal techniques, such as using nerve blockers, which involves injecting an anesthetic into the affected area to stop pain. There are also a number of alternative techniques, including meditation, focused attention and massage. All help muscles to relax.

Meditation can involve anything from lying on the floor focusing on a dot on the ceiling to sitting in a bathroom concentrating on the word Hawaii, or standing in line at the grocery store and thinking about chocolate. (Of course, this should not be done while driving a car or operating dangerous equipment.) The result? You reduce your body’s inflammatory response, which should allow the affected muscle to relax.

If you already meditate, up it to twice a day, and go to 360-5.com to learn various techniques for handling back pain.

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