Mind-body therapy shows promise for chronic pain

Chronic pain affects millionsWomen who suffer from chronic pelvic pain may find some relief through a treatment that is already popular in Europe, Norwegian researchers suggest.

Mensendieck somatocognitive therapy helps restore body awareness and reestablish motor patterns, Reuters Health reports.

As part of a previous study, scientists at the University of Oslo discovered Mensendieck therapy could reduce pain and improve movement among sufferers of chronic pelvic pain.

In the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the researchers report that these effects lasted for as long as one year after the original study ended.

Improvements were seen in posture, gait, movement and respiration, while reported pain decreased for around 64 percent of participants.

Lead author Dr. Gro K. Haugstad explained that people with pelvic pain can get involved in a “vicious circle” where they adopt movements to lessen pain that end up interfering with the proper motor patterns of their body.

“It is important to break this chain of events, and move the focus from pain experience to coping with pain and coping with the fear of movement,” the researchers are quoted as writing.

Mensendieck therapy has also been used as a health resource for occupational stresses, sports-related injuries and chronic back pain.