The 'talking therapies' may do more to help manage chronic pain, such as from osteoarthritis, than anti-inflammatory drugs, a new study has discovered.
It's all down to the way the brain interprets the signal from the diseased joint, say researchers from the University of Manchester, and how it anticipates pain.
'Talking therapies' such as mindfulness-based approaches can help train the brain not to anticipate pain signals, which also makes the pain seem more intense.
Understanding how the brain anticipates and interprets pain could reduce the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, which come with a host of side effects. The drugs are also not stopping the pain progress and worsen, which often robs the sufferer of a proper night's sleep and leads to further psychological distress.
(Source: European Journal of Neuroscience, 2014; 39 (4): 663