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

View Web RX

« Back

I was recently tested for psychologic problems related to my chronic low back pain. The test showed I am seriously depressed. But who wouldn't be depressed after months and months of back pain everyday?

It's true that quality of life does suffer when a person is faced with chronic pain. Depression can be a natural response to the downward spiral of pain, deconditioning, loss of function, and more pain. But studies show over and over that certain personality types are more likely to become depressed after an injury or problem with back pain.

Some researchers have linked this response to patients who are more likely to catastrophize an event in their lives. This means they blow it out of proportion. Pain and other symptoms escalate and don't respond to treatment with medications, injections, exercise, or rest. Results don't improve with physical therapy or even surgery.

A recent study from the University of Texas (Arlington) used a personality inventory called the MMPI to test almost 1,500 patients with chronic occupational spinal disorders (COSDs). Almost two-thirds had some type of personality disorder. Half had a significant depressive or anxiety disorder. Only seven per cent were in the normal profile (NP) category.

If you tested positive for depression, you may benefit from medical treatment for this condition. Ignoring depression won't make it go away and will almost certainly keep you in the downward spiral mentioned. Starting a course of anti-depressants along with an exercise program could be the start to restored function and improved quality of life.


« Back

*Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Mosaic Medical Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Mosaic Medical Group, LLC and used herein by permission.