Pain is an uncomfortable feeling that most people treat with medication. However, it might now be possible for people to use a pain management system without resorting to medications. A treatment called Mindful-Oriented Recovery Enhancement or MORE can help people with chronic pain manage their discomfort. The University of Utah used the treatment in a study; the study was published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology where the researchers discussed the new treatment as well as the results of the study.
Eric Garland, a psychotherapist and clinical researcher, created the treatment that uses a combination of the aspects of mindfulness training, positive psychological principles and cognitive-behavior therapy as a treatment strategy for addiction, pain and stress. The treatment was created to zone in on certain mechanisms in the body that trigger chronic pain and opiate misuse. Mental interventions such as Garland’s help people address their physical problems by using the concept of mind over matter.
Chronic pain is when a person experiences pain for longer than six months; this type of pain can be described as headaches, cancer pain, low back pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain and psychogenic pain. People usually use different ways to manage this discomfort such as medications, acupuncture, brain stimulation, local electrical stimulation and surgery. The American Academy of Pain Medication says there are 100 million adults who suffer from chronic back pain and it is the main reason people visit the doctor.
Garland also ran the trial study that used 115 chronic pain patients who were randomly placed in either a support group or received eight weeks of Garland’s treatment. The results of the study were measured on treatment before the study, during the study and three months after the study. The study that examined a pain management system that now makes relief possible without using medications used the Brief Pain Inventory to measure participants’ severity of pain, location of pain, pain medications, impact of pain on daily function and pain relief in the past 24 hours or past week. The Current Opioid Misuse Measure was used to examine the changes in opiate use disorder status; the researchers also examined the desire for opiate, stress non-reactivity, reappraisal, and reinterpretation of pain sensations.
The treatments lead to a 63 percent decrease in opiate misuse and a 32 percent reduction for patients who were placed in the support group. People who were in the treatment group also reported a 22 percent reduction in their discomfort, which lasted three months after the treatment ended. Garland explained in a news release that mental interventions can address physical problems such as pain on both biological and psychological levels because the body and mind are interconnected. He continues by saying that anything that happens in the brain also happens in the body, so by changing how the brain functions, people are also altering how their body functions.
The pain management system that now makes it possible for people to relieve pain without medication is called Mindful-Oriented Recovery Enhancement or MORE. Mindful-Oriented Recovery Enhancement is a new type of pain management that uses a combination of different techniques such as cognitive behavior therapy and aspects of mindfulness training to treat addiction and chronic pain. The treatment is based on three therapeutic components: Mindfulness, reappraisal and savoring that are combined to create the treatment. The treatment is being used in a second study that examines brain scans to see if it could be used to help people stop smoking; the pain management treatment is also being tested to help people with mental health problems who also sufferer from alcohol addiction and soldiers with chronic pain. If these trials are successful, then Mindful-Oriented Recovery Enhancement might be prescribed by physicians in the future as a supplemental treatment for other pain management treatments.
By Jordan Bonte