(NPR.ORG) — Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told doctors they should really, really think twice before prescribing opioids for chronic pain.
And now the doctors are telling us that meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy often works better than pain meds and other medical treatments for chronic back pain.
It's the latest in a series of studies saying that low-tech interventions like exercise, posture training, physical therapy and just the passage of time work better than opioids, imaging or surgery for the vast majority of people with chronic back pain.
Advertisement - story continues below
And it's part of a push to move treatment for chronic back pain, which affects about 8 percent of Americans and is a major cause of disability, away from being "medicalized" to something that people can manage by choosing from an array of nonmedical alternatives.