Washington D.C.: You may have heard Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Watson and Katy Perry talk about "mindfulness meditation," but according to a new research, it's not just a celebrity buzzword.
The University of Pittsburgh study discovered that mindfulness meditation, which focuses on breathing and suspending judgment and criticism, may offer a measure of pain relief to the seniors suffering from chronic lower back pain.
The study involved nearly 300 older adults with long-term lower back pain, half of whom were assigned to a two-month mindful meditation course.
Lead author Dr. Natalia Morone said that mindfulness meditation is a method to learn how to be fully engaged in the present moment and not let the mind get so easily distracted.
Morone added that as patients practiced mindfulness meditation and tried to stay more focused on the present moment, participants found they experienced less pain. They also saw short-term benefits in physical function.
More than half of adults older than 65 suffer from chronic pain, most commonly in the back, according to background notes with the study. Because medication side effects are more common in old age, many doctors and patients seek nonpharmaceutical treatments, the researchers said.
The study is published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.