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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What's the connection between pain and depression? I have chronic low back pain that seems to respond to antidepressants.

More and more studies are finding a link between pain and depression. In fact there's a name for this condition: the depression-pain syndrome. It appears there's a connection both ways. Pain appears to make depression worse. And depression makes pain worse.

Scientists think pain and depression have a common pathway. In both conditions, regulation of neurotransmitters is altered. Neurotransmitters are messengers in the body taking chemical messages from the body to the brain and back.

Antidepressants seem to decrease pain and improve mood. Antidepressants and cognitive behavioral therapy can help patients with depression. This approach is not as successful for pain. Not all patients see any improvement in pain. More study is needed to identify who may be helped with antidepressants for relief from chronic low back pain.


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