Patient Information Resources

Centre for Orthopaedics
Suite 10-33/34/35 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore, 329563, Singapore
Ph: (65) 6684 5828
Fax: (65) 6684 5829

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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My dad has back pain and has had it for many years. He goes to a doctor or pain clinic, the pain improves a lot, but then within months, he's back to square one again. What can he do? He's getting really depressed and discouraged.

Living with chronic pain can be very difficult and many people who have chronic pain, including chronic lower back pain, can end up being depressed. This then can cause a vicious cycle with the pain: the more pain, the more depressed - the more depressed, the more pain.

There is research that is going on to try to find the best approach to break this cycle in patients and - even better - stop the cycle before it starts. Researchers are aware that the patients who have this pain need to know how to handle set backs or turn off negative thinking that can contribute to the increase of pain.

As the cycle goes now, the patient has pain, feels depressed or scared to aggravate the pain. He or she then stops moving too much to avoid bringing the pain on. But, as he or she doesn't move, stiffness sets in as does weakness, making the back less able to bear the weight and work that it needs to. And then the cycle continues.

As far as your father goes, it's important to understand why the pain keeps coming back. Is it because he feels he has no control? Is he not keeping up with recommended programs for pain relief? If you can figure out the base, you could help him realize his role in the situation and help him understand how he can help himself.


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