Mindfulness is a way of life that includes keeping a focus on the feelings and senses of daily life. It includes practicing breathing focus, meditation, and techniques to relax the mind, body, and spirit. It is a way to open the mind and soothe the body. 

Today the medical community is looking to mindfulness as a solution to the remnants of the opioid crisis, the thousands of accidental addicts. Addiction to opioids soared not because of bad doctors, although they do exist, but because chronic pain was being treated in the primary care setting rather than by a Pain Management Specialist. 

Primary care and specialists physicians are skilled in certain aspects of medicine. They are all responsible for the care and comfort of their patients which means prescribing pain relivers when needed. On a daily basis their practice is their specialty and not pain management. This in part led to the opioid crisis and the extraordinary number of those still addicted and in rehab.

Incorporating Mindfulness Pian Relief 

In trying to address the addiction crisis that resulted from the opioid crisis, a study entitled, Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement vs Supportive Group Therapy for Co-occurring Opioid Misuse and Chronic Pain in Primary Care, A Randomized Clinical Trial was recently concluded. The results were presented to the JAMA Network in January 2022 and published in February 2022. 

The premise of the study was to answer the question, “Does a mindfulness-based intervention reduce comorbid chronic pain and opioid misuse in the primary care setting more than supportive psychotherapy?” 

Pain Management Specialists see an influx of addicted patients trying to manage their pain after being cut off from their prescriptions by the crackdown on opioid accessibility. The study conducted at University of Utah by a combination of PhD, and Medical Doctors was testing Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) vs Psychotherapy. The latter has been the traditional approach and does not seem effective. 

The University of Utah Study appears to confirm that the MORE approach is both effective in recovering from addiction as well as cutting back on the amount of pain relivers to conquer pain. This is an approach that the Pain Management Specialist can work with to provide pain relief to their patients without flooding their bodies with pharmaceuticals.

The results confirm that Pain Management Specialists who incorporate a variety of approaches to treating chronic pain in patients can use the MORE approach with success. The findings of the study as summarized in the paper by the researchers was, “In this randomized clinical trial that included 250 adults with both chronic pain and opioid misuse, 45.0% of participants receiving Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) were no longer misusing opioids after 9 months of follow-up compared with 24.4% of participants receiving supportive group psychotherapy. Participants receiving MORE also reported significant improvements in chronic pain symptoms compared with those receiving supportive psychotherapy.”

Mindfulness Approaches

Along with the prescribed pain relief programs of the Pain Management Specialist, patients can practice mindfulness to aid in their recoveries. Mindfulness practices includes concentrating and focusing on the positive. It can incorporate, yoga and meditation in unleashing the power of the mind to conquer pain. 

A balanced approach to pain relief is the most successful when guided by a professional Pain Relief Management Specialist. 

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