Register for our free webinar here!

The Link Between Pain and Depression

The Link Between Pain and Depression

Researchers and clinicians have known for a long time that pain and depression are associated. Each condition is a risk factor for the other. But no one is sure exactly how the two are linked, and research continues. 

The fact that researchers don’t fully understand the relationship between pain and depression doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. At Family Acupuncture and Wellness, our team of experts can suggest strategies and lifestyle interventions that can help you live with less pain, ease your depression, and limit your risk factors for one or the other. 

The chicken and the egg

One of the unknowns when it comes to the relationship between pain and depression is determining which comes first, rather like the chicken and the egg question. People with depression have a heightened sensitivity to pain, and people with chronic pain can develop feelings of inadequacy, sadness, isolation, and depression. 

Once you’re in a situation where you’re in pain and you’re depressed, it’s easy to fall into a vicious cycle where one condition feeds the other. In those circumstances, it really doesn’t matter much which came first. 

Current findings

Scientists are working to learn more about the link between depression and pain, because a deeper understanding often leads to improved treatments. One recent study in the UK found that the more chronic conditions a person has, the more likely they will develop depression. 

Another group of researchers found that if you have both depression and chronic pain, it’s less likely that antidepressants will be an effective treatment. Both of these findings have an important implication: physical health and mental health are the same, and shouldn’t be separated into separate boxes. 

When you find the root cause underlying your problems, you can begin to address them — and find some relief. 

Treatments

When it comes to treating chronic pain or depression, our team believes in using a whole-body approach. We provide functional medicine services, which focus on the root cause of a problem, instead of focusing on relieving symptoms. Once you address the underlying cause, the symptoms begin to resolve as well. 

Your specific treatment plan is based on your unique situation. It’s likely to include lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, supplements, acupuncture, massage, an exercise plan, or other treatments designed to address the root cause of your problem. 

If you’ve been living with depression, chronic pain, or both, schedule an appointment at Family Acupuncture and Wellness. We’re always happy to answer your questions, and look for the path forward, allowing you to live your life to the fullest. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Do Probiotics Help Gut Issues?

The health of your gut impacts your overall health in surprising and numerous ways. It can even affect your mood! Prebiotics and probiotics can be important elements in keeping your gut healthy and resolving any issues.

The Difference Between IBS and IBD

IBS and IBD share similar names and both affect the function of your gastrointestinal tract, but the two conditions are quite different. In this post we describe some of the differences in the two conditions.

Understanding Auto-Immune Diseases

Most of the time, the human body’s immune system is amazing, providing protection, healing naturally, and generally doing a fantastic job of keeping us healthy. But sometimes, it gets confused and the result is an autoimmune disease.

The Health Hazards of Stress

We all know stress is bad, and chronic stress can have an impact on your physical health. In this post we consider some of the physical effects of stress, and we offer some potentially useful coping techniques.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Chronic Gas & Bloating

Normal digestion includes some gas, but if you experience chronic gas and bloating, it could be a symptom of an underlying issue. In this post, we discuss some of the reasons you shouldn’t ignore feeling gaseous and bloated all the time.

Brain Fog and Diabetes: How Are They Connected?

If you have type 2 diabetes, you probably spend a fair amount of time each day thinking about your health. You’re probably aware of many of the potential complications of diabetes, but did you know it can impact your ability to think?