How Retraining Your Brain Can help lower back pain – WebMD

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Aug. 5 2022 – Are among the many millions of people around the world suffering from low back discomfort? If so, you could already be familiar with the common treatments such as surgery, shots, medication, and spinal manipulations. New research suggests that the solution to the leading handicap may be in resolving the way that the brain and body communicate.

In an effort to challenge conventional treatment options that treat back pain, researchers from Australia, Europe, and the U.S. came together to determine the effectiveness of altering the way that neural networks detect pain in a new study released on the 14th of this month within the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study was a randomized clinical trial that enrolled two groups comprising 138 people suffering from long-term low back pain. The trial tested the first group using a unique method known as graded sensorimotor rehabilitation intervention (RESOLVE) and the second using things like mock laser therapy as well as non-invasive brain stimulation.

The study found that the RESOLVE 12 week training program led to an statistically significant reduction in pain intensity after 18 weeks.

“What we found in our study was a clinically relevant influence on pain intensity as well as an effect that was clinically relevant on disability. The participants were more content, reported that their backs felt better and their general well-being was improved,” the study’s lead author, James McAuley, PhD made a statement in an announcement. “This research is the only treatment that is specifically designed to treat back discomfort.”


Brainy Talk

The communication between your brain and back alters over time when you suffer from persistent lower back pain. This causes your brain to process signals from your back differently and alter the way you move. It is believed that these neurological changes can slow the healing process and more complex according to Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA ), a nonprofit research institute located in Sydney, Australia.

“Over time it becomes apparent that the back is less fit and the way that the back as well as the brain work is altered in ways that appear to strengthen the belief that your back has vulnerabilities and requires safeguarding,” said McAuley, an associate professor in the University of New South Wales and a NeuRA senior researcher. “The method we came up with seeks to break the self-sustaining loop.”

RESOLVE treatment is focused on improving the transformation of brain-back communication through gradually changing the body and brain without the need for surgeries or opioids. The participants involved in research have experienced improvements in their health and quality of life a year later, as per McAuley.

The researchers noted that the improvement in pain is “modest,” and the method needs to be tested on different patients and ailments. They plan to offer this treatment to physiotherapists and doctors within the next 6-9 months. They’ve already recruited partners to begin the process, according to NeuRA.