Do holistic treatments for low back pain improve patients' health?

A group of researchers recently tested a treatment program in the Netherlands with a "whole person" approach. Physical training was merely one part of the program. Patients also learned how social and mental stress can lead to back pain. They were trained in body awareness, so they could respond better to signals that they were doing too much.

For the small group of patients tested, the program was very successful. Patients came out of the program with better physical abilities. They also had better mental health and social functioning. Most important, they improved their health, physical functioning, and ability to do daily tasks.

The authors think the program worked because it addressed the physical, social, and mental parts of back pain. Patients in the program grew more aware of their capabilities and limitations. The authors believe that this kind of program gets patients on their way to leading healthier, more balanced lives.

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