Chronic pain and depression may be linked - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/10/09

Chronic pain and depression may be linked

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By Cassie Hataway | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Doctors estimate that about 30 to 50 percent of all patients with chronic pain suffer from depression and there is growing evidence the depression can actually make the pain worse.  Likewise, a new study on the mind-body connection in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that, in some cases, getting rid of the depression may actually help you get rid of the pain. 

Researchers discovered the patients who took anti-depressants were more successful in reducing their pain.  "They're more able to more actively engage in therapy sessions, they're able to do more things to get their mind off the pain.  In addition it sort of decreases the amplifier so they don't feel the pain as much", says Dr. Matt Bayazitoglu, a physical medicine specialist.

So, if you suffer from chronic pain, the recommendation from this study is that you may benefit by going to a comprehensive pain center, where doctors from different specialties work together to manage both pain and depression.

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