Symptom #1 Chest Pain
Firstly, if youre experiencing chest pain of any kind, it is extremely important that you get it checked immediately to rule out heart attacks and other serious conditions.
But, chest pain can actually be linked to depression. Seems strange, but there is a good reason: depression often goes hand-in-hand with anxiety and panic attacks, which are typically felt in the chest.
In fact studies have shown that depression is one of the more common explanations of chest pain, making this a helpful indicator for diagnosis.
Depression Secondary To Back Pain
Depression;is a serious mental health condition that affects the way a person thinks, feels, and acts.; Symptoms of depression tend to include the following: persistent feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness; lack of motivation or interest in activities that are usually pleasurable; difficulty sleeping and concentrating; irritability; decreased energy; fatigue; and changes in appetite resulting in weight loss or weight gain.; If a veteran suffers from debilitating back pain, it is possible that they will develop depression due to the chronic discomfort and limitations on activities of daily living.
Combined Neck Pain And Depression Increasingly Debilitating
In some cases of chronic neck pain, treating depression rather than the symptom of pain can completely cure the patient who, oftentimes, has undergone numerous other treatments before finding the one that helped. Major depression was found by Sullivan, et al , to be four times greater in those with chronic back pain than in the general population, and in other studies looking at depression in patients with chronic low back pain who seek treatment at pain clinics the rates were even higher. Of these patients, 32-82% showed some degree of depressive symptoms, with an average of 62% included in this group . Currie and Wang also noted that the combination of depression and chronic back pain was associated with greater disability than either symptom alone.
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In This Video A Demonstration Of A Prolotherapy Treatment Is Given
Prolotherapy is referred to as a regenerative injection technique; because it is based on the premise that the regenerative healing process can rebuild and repair damaged soft tissue structures. It is a simple injection treatment that addresses very complex issues.
This video jumps to 1:05 where the actual treatment begins.
This patient is having C1-C2 areas treated. Ross Hauser, MD, is giving the injections.
The Curvatures Of The Neck
In our practice, we see problems of cervical spine instability caused by damaged or weakened cervical spine ligaments. With ligament weakness or laxity, the cervical vertebrae move out of place and progress into problems of chronic pain and neurological symptoms by distorting the natural curve of the spine. This illustration demonstrates the progression from Lordotic to Military to Kyphotic to S shape curve.
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Emotional Effect Of Back Pain
Back pain hurts, its inconvenient, and it negatively impacts your life and activities but did you know it is also linked to depression?
In fact, depression can cause physical pain, such as back pain so the relationship goes both ways. The mind and body are interconnected, and the cyclical relationship between pain and depression can have a major effect on your life.
Depression is very common among people with chronic back pain. Depression can worsen pain, and pain can cause depression. Even mild depression can affect your daily life and activities, and how you manage pain.
- Feelings of sadness, anger, worthlessness or hopelessness
- Low energy
- Less interest in doing things, or less pleasure
- Trouble falling asleep
- Suicidal thoughts
Impact of Stress on Depression and Pain
Stress is another factor in both pain and depression. Stress impacts our bodies emotionally and physically it can cause muscle tension and high blood pressure. Stress can also add to the emotional burden of depression.
Exploring the Link Between Pain and Depression
According to a;study;from the University of Alberta, depression is a risk factor for the onset of severe neck and low back pain. A random sample of 800 adults without neck and lower back pain were followed for this study. Over time, the study found that people suffering from depression were four times as likely to develop intense or disabling pain in their neck or lower back.
Symptom #3 Funny Tummy
Ever totally lost your appetite, felt queasy, or had a churning stomach when you felt anxious or were going through a tough time? A persons digestive system is incredibly sensitive to emotions.
For those with depression, stomach and digestive issues are often an ongoing concern, especially in kids and teenagers.
Nausea, diarrhoea and constipation can all be symptoms and studies have shown up to 60% of people with irritable bowel syndrome have a mental illness such as depression or anxiety.
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Symptom #2 Aches And Pains
Pain and depression often go together. Depression can cause pain and pain can cause depression. This means that for people with an existing condition such as arthritis or an injury, they may see their pain get worse.
People who have depression can also often feel unexplained aches and pains, whether its in the abdomen, joints, neck or back or all over.
Many professionals even believe that depression causes people to process and feel pain differently, as it affects a persons sensitivity to pain stimuli and reduces their coping skills.
Can Depression Cause Pain
While suffering from back pain can lead to depression, it is also possible that depression can cause pain. Some people suffer unexplained physical symptoms from depression, such as back pain or headaches. Scientists still do not fully understand how depression and chronic pain are linked.
People with more severe depression feel more intense pain, studies have found. They also have higher than normal levels of proteins called cytokines, which send messages to cells that affect how the immune system responds to disease and infection. Cytokines can trigger pain by promoting inflammationthe bodys response to injury or infection.
If you have pain, it can slow your recovery from depression. In turn, depression can make pain more difficult to treat. It can lead to isolation, which causes further depression. Pain can make a person reluctant to move and go about their daily activities for fear of making the pain worse; this can increase a persons isolation.
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Secondary Service Connection For Back Pain
Veterans can also be service connected for back conditions that are not directly related to service.; A secondary service-connected disability is a disability that resulted from a condition that is already service-connected.; Here, veterans must provide medical evidence linking their back pain to their already service-connected condition.
The;nexus;between your primary condition and your secondary condition must be clearly established in order to be granted secondary service connection.; For example, if a veteran has a service-connected knee condition that causes them to favor one side when walking, they might develop an altered gait.; This uneven shift in weight may then contribute to complications and pain in their back.; In this way, the veterans back pain is due to their service-connected knee condition, and therefore warrants secondary service connection.
Importantly, back pain can also cause secondary conditions for which service connection may be possible.
Symptom #6 Youre Never In The Mood
For many people, depression has a marked impact on sexual libido whether its due to emotional reasons or physical reasons . Even anti-depressants can affect peoples sex drive.
Whatever the case, its worth talking to your doctor about a change in sex drive, to pinpoint the cause and find a solution sometimes a simple change in medication or treatment can help. It might feel awkward, but remember, doctors are professionals and its their job to help.
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Is There A Cycle
Pain provokes an emotional response in everyone. If you have pain, you may also have anxiety, irritability, and agitation. These are normal feelings when you’re hurting. Usually, as pain subsides, so does the stressful response.
But with chronic pain, you may feel constantly tense and stressed. Over time, the stress can result in different emotional problems associated with depression. Some of the problems individuals with both chronic pain and depression have include:
- Altered mood
- Reduced sexual interest and activity
- Sleep disturbances
- Work problems
Physical Symptoms You Didnt Realise Depression Could Cause
Many people dont realise that depression can have a very real affect on your whole body – not just your mind.
Most people will agree that depression can cause emotional symptoms feeling sad, low, down, numb But what many dont realise is that depression can have a very real effect on your body as a whole.
We are taking a look at seven common but surprising physical symptoms of depression.
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Low Back Pain & Anxiety
You would be surprised at how closely you can correlate low back pain and anxiety.
Calm Clinic discusses the how anxiety causes back pain. They believe that the cause of back pain from anxiety is primarily secondary. This means that while anxiety doesnt directly cause your low back pain, it can exacerbate behaviours that lead to it. Lets take a look at three separate issues caused by anxiety that can result in low back pain:
How Stress Increases Neck And Shoulder Pain
Stress isnt always the cause of neck and , but it can certainly make even the smallest existing pain much worse. Heres how it affects your neck and shoulders.
Enlarges the blood vessels in your large muscle groups to allow faster oxygen delivery
Causes you to clench and tighten muscles in the neck, jaw and shoulders
Increases tension in the trapezius muscles that run across the top of the back
Restricts neck and shoulder movement
Heightens your perception of pain and makes existing pain feel worse
When you experience mental or physical stress again and again, your body is constantly prepared for battle but is never allowed to release that tension. Eventually this irritates your muscles and nerves, causing pain that can be difficult to manage because its difficult to pinpoint or remove your stress triggers.
Back And Neck Chronic Pain Is Complex
As someone living with chronic pain caused spondylosis, degenerative disc disease, spinal cord injury or some other spine problem, you understand pain is a complex problem, and treatment requires the expertise of a spine specialist. Perhaps your pain management program includes a combination of treatmentsa medication for neuropathic pain, a muscle relaxant, a periodic epidural spinal injection, and/or physical therapy. Well, treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression requires the same level of expertise but from someone who specializes in managing mental health problems.
Neck Pain And Depression
Neck pain and depression are often interlinked, with one causing the other or the two occurring as part of another condition such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic pain of any kind can have significant ramifications for emotional and psychological health and neck pain can be particularly worrisome as it can be difficult to isolate the cause of the pain and apply effective neck pain treatments. Conversely, neck pain may be an effect of depression or anxiety as patients muscles become tense, chronic stress leads to muscle fatigue, and degenerative processes in the cervical spine increase as inflammation continues unabated.
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Treatment Options For Stress
The first thing we do with every patient who has back pain is determine its root cause. Its important to understand that no adult can expect to live 100 percent pain-free or stress-free. However, we can discuss ways to minimize discomfort and help patients feel less tense.
An effective way to reduce stress and back pain is to exercise and stretch more.;
Physical activity can release endorphins and improve overall health, which can help reduce stress. Make a point to get up during the work day and do a few laps around the office every few hours, or try a;standing desk. At home, reserve time to exercise. Physical therapy also can help relieve spine pain and return your neck and back to optimal flexibility. A physical therapist can show you specific stretches to pinpoint trouble areas in your neck and back.
Eating a healthy diet also can help reduce stress.;
When you eat well long term, your general health can improve, and you will likely feel more energetic. Healthy eating is key to weight loss and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight offloads pressure from your spine and improves your posture.
Additionally, its important to make time in your schedule to relax.;
Many patients with back pain are very busy with work, family, and social commitments. Carve out time to read a good book, spend time with family and friends, or practice mindfulness or meditation.;
What Helps Back Pain
Treating pain can help patients return to normal both physically and mentally. Certain medications and therapies can target both pain and depression. Patients benefit the most when chronic pain and depression are treated together. A few treatment options include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of therapy addresses negative thinking patterns and teaches patients coping skills to manage depression and pain.
- Relaxation training. Because stress aggravates the pain and increases symptoms of depression and anxiety, relaxation training works to reduce stress.
- Physical therapy. A physical therapist can help improve mobility, reduce pain, and improve mood by teaching techniques for muscle relaxation.
- Exercise. Physical activity can improve mood and decrease pain.
- Group therapy. Self-help groups provide psychological support for dealing with pain and depression and anxiety. Support groups can be local to your area or found online.
Between 30 and 50% of people who suffer from chronic pain also struggle with depression and anxiety. Chronic pain can influence a persons thoughts and moods in a big way. Patients who suffer from severe back pain, for example, may isolate themselves from others, feel increased stress and feelings of worthlessness. This cycle is hard to break.
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Anxiety And Depression: Chronic Pain’s Unwanted Companions
Chronic pain, by definition, is any kind of lasting pain that doesnt resolve within six months, according to Kiran Rajneesh, MBBS, a neurologist and interventional pain specialist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio.
Many different conditions can cause it, and a continual change in the peripheral or central nervous systems can maintain that pain over time, says Sarah Buday, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Washington University Pain Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.
The way the brain processes those signals can be complicated. The X-rays of two people might look the same, but the way they experience their pain can be totally different, says Dr. Buday, who specializes in pain psychology. One might feel pain and one might not. Its also true that the mental impacts of pain are very individual. Not everyone becomes depressed or worries about their condition. This different experience of pain speaks to why it can be difficult to treat and even study, Dr. Rajneesh says.
While tens of millions of people experience chronic pain, about 17.3 million adults experience depression in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Mental Health.3 In terms of its closely related cousin, anxiety, about 40 million Americans have those feelings of fear, worry, and impending catastrophe each year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.4
Battling Chronic Back Pain & Depression
Medical experts commonly describe chronic back pain as discomfort that lasts for longer than three months. In some circles, pain may be considered chronic if it simply lasts for longer than the typical recovery time. However, either way you slice it, chronic back pain doesnt always begin and end at the physical level. In fact, it is often cited that 30 50% of people with chronic pain also suffer from depression and anxiety.
Depression often magnifies the sensation of pain, and vice versa. To be more specific, people with chronic pain are three times as likely to develop the symptoms of depression. Likewise, people who suffer from depression are three times as likely to develop the symptoms of chronic pain. Both of these problems share similarities at a very intrinsic level. For example, much like chronic pain, depression often causes unexplainable neck pain and headaches. In turn, symptoms of chronic pain often mirror symptoms of depression. A person with chronic pain may have horrible insomnia, increased anxiety, or feelings of worthlessness. As you can imagine, this creates a vicious cycle that often calls for the aid of trained doctors and therapists.
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How Do Antidepressants Help Both
There is abundant evidence of the effectiveness of tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline HCL and nortriptyline . They can be highly effective for forms of neurologically-based pain such as migraine headaches, herniated disks, and other spinal nerve root problems. However, because of side effects, they aren’t used as much anymore. Newer antidepressants such as the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , on the other hand, seem to work well, often with fewer side effects.
Back Pain Or Aching Muscles All Over
You might feel okay in the morning, but once youre at work or sitting at a school desk, your back starts to hurt. It could be stress, or it could be depression. Although theyre often associated with bad posture or injuries, backaches can also be a symptom of psychological distress.
A 2017 research study of 1,013 Canadian university students found a direct association between depression and backaches.
Psychologists and psychiatrists have long believed emotional issues can cause chronic aches and pains, but the specifics are still being researched, such as the connection between depression and the bodys inflammatory response.
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