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OPTIMIZING Pain Treatment in Medical Settings Using Mindfulness

What is the OPTIMUM pain management program?

If you are assigned to the OPIMUM pain management program, you will be asked to participate in 8 weekly group mindfulness sessions online. The OPTIMUM pain program also includes brief online private visits with a primary care provider before or after each of the 8 sessions.  Home practice of mindfulness meditation, using audio recordings for guidance, is an important part of the OPTIMUM pain program.

Why Mindfulness Meditation for chronic low back pain?

Research studies by our OPTIMUM team members and others have had promising results: mindfulness meditation group programs can help to reduce the suffering brought on by pain or other conditions.

What is Mindfulness?

One description of Mindfulness is – being aware of one’s present moment experiences, such as physical sensations, moods or emotions, and thoughts that come and go. And this Mindful awareness includes the intention to pay attention in an open and non-judgmental way, as much as might be possible.

Why is Meditation practice important for Mindfulness?  

As humans, we all have the capacity for mindfulness, and there are many moments when mindful awareness arises all by itself.  However, we often live our lives distracted and detached from our experiences, and we may miss some of the enjoyment of life.  Mindfulness, while available to all of us, can be thought of as a skill that can be learned and cultivated.  Meditation is a way to cultivate mindfulness.  Initial instruction in Mindfulness Meditation includes guidance about focusing attention, and gently re-directing attention when the mind wanders off.  Meditation requires some training, and also, practice.

If you have chronic low-back pain, you may be eligible to participate in a research study.