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Talk Therapy May Treat Low Back Pain

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Beneficial, Cost-effective, U.K. Study Finds

‘No One-Size-Fits-All Treatment’

The researchers conclude that group cognitive behavioral therapy should be considered a useful and cost-effective treatment for chronic low back pain.

The study appears online in the Feb. 26 issue of the journal The Lancet.

"There will never be a one-size-fits-all treatment for low-back pain," Hansen says. "Group cognitive behavioral therapy gives patients another choice."

In an editorial accompanying the study, pain management specialist Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD, expressed skepticism about the ability to offer CBT for pain management in the United States, no matter how effective the intervention is.

Manchikanti directs the Pain Management Center of Paducah in Paducah, Ky.

"A practical issue that remains is the availability of group cognitive behavioral therapy on a routine basis for low-back pain in primary care, which might be feasible in countries with national health-care systems,  but not in a country like the USA," he writes.

Hansen, who developed the CBT training program used in the U.K. study, concedes that patients with chronic back pain in the U.S. who want to try group cognitive therapy may have a hard time finding it.

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