University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Hypnosis treatment for chronic low back pain


Tan, G., Fukui, T., Jensen, M.P., Thornby, J., & Waldman, K.L



Publication Info:

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 58:53-68


Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a significant healthcare problem, and many individuals with CLBP remain unresponsive to available interventions. Previous research suggests that hypnosis is effective for many chronic pain conditions; however, data to support its efficacy for CLBP are outdated and have been limited primarily to case studies. This pilot study indicated that a brief, 4-session standardized self-hypnosis protocol, combined with psycho-education, significantly and substantially reduced pain intensity and pain interference. Significant session-to-session improvements were also noted on pain ratings and mood states; however, follow-up data suggest that these benefits may not have been maintained across time in this sample. These findings need to be replicated and confirmed in a larger clinical trial, which could also assess the long-term effects of this treatment.

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