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Treatment for Depression and Back Pain

Treatments

Sufferers of chronic back pain should be treated for the underlying cause of the pain if it can be found, with the doctor performing an evaluation of mental state at the same time.



Doctors are very aware of the analgesic effects of prescribing an anti-depressant medication for its pain relieving properties; in fact on occasion an anti-depressant will be prescribed for its analgesic benefits alone, even without the patient having any symptoms of depression.

The most common anti-depressant used for its pain relieving qualities is called Amitriptyline. It has been found that anti-depressant medication can be useful in the treatment of fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and cancer pain. Other treatments that can help treat both chronic back pain and depression together can include massage, hypnotherapy and gentle exercise.

Massage can help relieve stress, therefore lowering a risk factor of developing depression and also helping relieve the tension in muscles that can add to pain levels.
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Hypnotherapy can help the individual gain some control over their feelings and pain levels and may increase concentration and memory, both of which may be affected by depression and chronic pain. Exercise allows for social interaction and as a method of relieving pain. Sunshine and fresh air may also contribute to lifting the person’s mood.

Tasks should be broken down into more manageable jobs and should be completed in a realistic time frame; this allows for maintaining independence and helps with mobility issues.

Anyone who is feeling depressed should be aware of its link with the development of chronic pain conditions and sufferers of long-term back pain should be aware of the risks of suffering from depression.
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