Chronic pain and depression

Chronic pain can sometimes lead to depression when treatment options have been exhausted and the pain is still severe. If you’ve been suffering from chronic pain for several months or years, you may understand the negative impact on your quality of life this type of pain can have.

Understanding how chronic pain and depression may be related can help you find the treatment you need to regain your quality of life. While it may seem daunting, many people do experience this type of pain and have found relief through several methods of treatment — treatment discussed later in this article.


Defining depression

Depression can sometimes be difficult to define because the symptoms may vary among patients. Most physicians will diagnose you with depression if you experience the following symptoms for two weeks or longer:

  • Prolonged sadness
  • Doubt
  • Remorse or pessimism
  • Lack of energy or desire
  • Other similar symptoms

Depression is often accompanied by behavioral changes like having trouble sleeping or losing weight. This illness, combined with chronic long-term back pain, can have a serious impact on an individual’s quality of life and may even worsen the back pain by creating unhealthy dietary and sedentary habits.


How back pain can lead to depression

In many ways, it’s understandable for a person to become depressed from long-term back pain. It can become extremely disheartening to continue conservative treatments that offer limited relief while still suffering from chronic pain. Eventually, this frustration can spiral into depression if something doesn’t change.


Treatments for depression

Treatment of depression depends on your willingness to ask for help. All too often, people make the mistake of thinking they’ll suddenly snap out of their “funk.” It’s important to realize that depression is an illness and should be treated by a medical professional. Set reasonable goals for yourself and focus on the positive, but more than anything, be willing to open up. Your physician may prescribe anti-depressants, but sometimes just having someone to talk to, like a therapist, can make a big difference in your outlook on life.


Treatment for chronic pain

If conservative, nonsurgical treatments for your back pain haven’t been an effective method of pain relief after several months, consider the minimally invasive spine surgery offered at Laser Spine Institute. Even if you’re suffering from failed back surgery syndrome, our procedures may be able to help alleviate your pain.

Unlike traditional open neck or back surgery, our minimally invasive spine surgery uses a smaller incision, allowing our patients to experience a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication.

Minimally invasive procedures can alleviate:

  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • A burning sensation or feeling of heat along a nerve
  • Pain that radiates along a nerve

To learn more about our minimally invasive treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can provide a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for one of our procedures.