Talk therapy eases back pain

Aching back? Maybe some talk therapy would help.

Researchers from the University of Warwick and the University of Oxford in England studied 701 adults treated for lower back pain at 56 medical practices for a year. Two-thirds of the participants (468) underwent six group sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy in addition to normal medical care. The rest (233) received standard treatment.

After a year the participants who got cognitive therapy scored twice as high on a questionnaire used to assess their back condition as those who did not have the group session, according to the study published in the British medical journal The Lancet. The researchers concluded that “cognitive behavioral intervention had a sustained effect on troublesome subacute and chronic low-back pain at low cost.”