How Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Manage Pain

Millions of people across the world are living with pain every day. This could be the result of an injury or the symptoms of a long-term, chronic condition. Regardless, helping people manage and live with pain is a top priority for health professionals.

There are medications that can help manage pain, but these can come with side effects, and in some cases can be highly addictive. As an alternative, we’re seeing many people turn to more holistic approaches, with mindfulness meditation regarded as one of the most effective options.

How Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Manage Pain (Unsplash)

Combining Mindfulness and Meditation

As the name suggests, mindfulness meditation is a combination of both mindfulness and meditation. Mindfulness involves looking inwards and paying close attention to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they exist in the here and now. Meditation is a process of focused concentration, through which you can reach a state of total peace and relaxation.

While the two practices are distinct, there is significant overlap, and people often participate in a combination of mindfulness and meditation without even realising it.

Mindfulness meditation can offer a number of benefits, particularly mentally, which you can learn more about through the mental health app However, it can also help people manage and reduce the symptoms of pain. Let’s find out more.

Mindfulness Meditation for Pain

We usually associate things like mindfulness and meditation with mental and emotional health. It can certainly benefit us mentally and spiritually, but there is increasing evidence to suggest that it can be equally effective at treating physical conditions and ailments as well.

For example, a study conducted in 2012 revealed that people practising mindfulness could reduce feelings of pain by around 22%. In 2017, another study found that meditation could help people suffering from lower back pain reduce pain and improve mobility.

These remarkable findings are just the tip of the iceberg. There are now countless studies and research projects that support the claim that mindfulness and meditation can be used to combat pain.

How Does this Work?

Mindfulness meditation can help us refocus our thoughts and eliminate negative feelings. Essentially, it can help us ignore unpleasant symptoms like pain. The power of the mind is such that by simply ignoring the feelings, people can experience a significant reduction in pain and discomfort.

However, it also goes further than that. Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can actually change our brain chemistry and structure. It can make areas of the brain thicker, which increases pain tolerance. Mindfulness meditation can also change the way in which the brain regulates chemicals like opioids, which are produced by the brain to help reduce pain.


Experiencing or living with pain can be incredibly difficult and can seriously impact quality of life. Rather than taking medication, which can have side effects or lead to addiction, we’re seeing more and more people turn to mindfulness meditation. Not only can this help sufferers mentally overcome the effect of pain, but it can also physically change the way in which the brain manages pain, with incredible results.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 7, 2023

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