BACK AND SPINE

Home
Types of Back Pain
Upper Back Pain

Upper Back Pain Causes

Chronic Back Pain 

Depression & Chronic Pain
 

  CONDITIONS TREATED

Herniated Disc
Bulging Disc
Degenerative Disc Disease
Facet Joint Disease
Spinal Stenosis
Foraminal Stenosis
 

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Foraminotomy
Discectomy
Laminectomy
Laminotomy
 

LOWER BACK PAIN

Low Back Pain
Causes of Low Back Pain
Low Back Pain Treatment
Epidural Steroid Injections
Surgery For Low Back Pain
 

SURGERY PROCEDURES

Surgical Procedures
Types of Back Surgery
Spine Surgery
Spine Fusion
Spinal Disc Replacement

 

PATIENT RESOURCES

Back Pain Relief
Back Pain Treatment
Back Surgery
Artificial Discs
Insurance Carriers

 
 

Depression and Chronic Back Pain

Depression is common for those with chronic back pain

Depression is more commonly seen in patients with chronic back pain problems than in patients with pain that is of an acute, short-term nature. How does depression develop in these cases? This can be understood by looking at the host of symptoms often experienced by the person with chronic back pain or other spine-related pain.

  • The pain often makes it difficult to sleep, leading to fatigue and irritability during the day.

  • Then, during the day, because patients with back pain have difficulty with most movement they often move slowly and carefully, spending most of their time at home away from others. This leads to social isolation and a lack of enjoyable activities.

  • Due to the inability to work, there may also be financial difficulties that begin to impact the entire family.

  • Beyond the pain itself, there may be gastrointestinal distress caused by anti-inflammatory medication and a general feeling of mental dullness from the pain medications.

  • The pain is distracting, leading to memory and concentration difficulties.

  • Sexual activity is often the last thing on the personís mind and this causes more stress in the patientís relationships.

Understandably, these symptoms accompanying chronic back pain or neck pain may lead to feelings of despair, hopelessness and other symptoms of a major depression or clinical depression.

A recent study investigated the family consequences of chronic back pain. Patients reported a wide range of limitations on family and social roles including: physical limitation that hampered patientsí ability to do household chores, take care of the children, and engage in leisure activities with their spouses. Spouses and children often took over family responsibilities once carried out by the individual with back pain. These changes in the family often led to depression and anger among the back pain patients and to stress and strain in family relationships.

Clinical depression and back pain

Depression is by far the most common emotion associated with chronic back pain. The type of depression that often accompanies chronic pain is referred to as major depression or clinical depression. This type of depression goes beyond what would be considered normal sadness or feeling "down for a few days". The symptoms of a major depression occur daily for at least two weeks and include at least 5 of the following (DSM-IV, 1994):

  • A predominant mood that is depressed, sad, blue, hopeless, low, or irritable, which may include periodic crying spells

  • Poor appetite or significant weight loss or increased appetite or weight gain

  • Sleep problem of either too much (hypersomnia) or too little (hyposomnia) sleep

  • Feeling agitated (restless) or sluggish (low energy or fatigue)

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Feeling of worthlessness and/or guilt

  • Problems with concentration or memory

  • Thoughts of death, suicide, or wishing to be dead

Chronic pain and depression are two of the most common health problems that health professionals encounter, yet only a handful of studies have investigated the relationship between these conditions in the general population (Currie and Wang, 2004).

Major depression is thought to be four times greater in people with chronic back pain than in the general population (Sullivan, Reesor, Mikail & Fisher, 1992). In research studies on depression in chronic low back pain patients seeking treatment at pain clinics, prevalence rates are even higher. 32 to 82 percent of patients show some type of depression or depressive problem, with an average of 62 percent (Sinel, Deardorff & Goldstein, 1996). In a recent study it was found that the rate of major depression increased in a linear fashion with greater pain severity (Currie and Wang, 2004). It was also found that the combination of chronic back pain and depression was associated with greater disability than either depression or chronic back pain alone.

 

 


 
         

Houston Spine Surgeons  |  Dallas Spine Surgeons  |  Houston orthopedic specialist  |  Dallas Pain Management  |  St. Louis Pain Management

 

Patient Resources

Anatomy of The Lower Back  -  Misdiagnosing Low Back Pain  -  Functions of The Low Back  -  Before Your Surgery  -  After Spine Surgery

Spine Surgery Questions  -  Anatomy of The Spine  -  Back Pain Definitions  -  Obesity and back pain  -  Orthopedic Surgeons  -  Spine Surgeons

Back Pain Myths  -  Back Pain Medication

 

 

Privacy  -  Copyright 2002-2011. All Rights Reserved.  -  Disclaimer

Website Development by Axcension, Inc.