Hurting bodies and suffering minds often require the same treatment. Pain, especially chronic pain, is an emotional condition as well as a physical sensation. It is a complex experience that affects thought, mood, and behavior and can lead to isolation, immobility, and drug dependence. In those ways, it resembles depression, and the relationship is intimate. Pain is depressing, and depression causes and intensifies pain. People with chronic pain have three times the average risk of developing psychiatric symptoms — usually mood or anxiety disorders — and depressed patients have three times the average risk of developing chronic pain. MORE INFO
Chronic pain is experienced by 18.6% of Australian adults, largely the female population, and is highly correlated with depression. In fact, about 50% of people suffering chronic pain also have depression. Therefore, it is obvious that any successful treatment protocol is obliged to address the pain response aspect of the condition. Some of the common conditions that can exacerbate, and/or cause the chronic pain/depression cycle are:
degenerative disc disease
various types of headache
generalised pain syndrome, such as fibromyalgia
At MALENY REMEDIAL THERAPIES we do not treat depression. However, it had been found that the symptoms of depression can be placed in remission [hopefully a permanent condition] as the chronic pain abates.
The cycle of depression & pain. Pain provokes an emotional response in everyone. If you have pain, you may also have high anxiety, irritability, and agitation. These are very normal feelings when you're hurting. Normally, as pain subsides, so does the stressful response. However with chronic pain, you may feel constantly tense and stressed. Over time, the constant stress can result in different emotional problems associated with depression. http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain?page=2#1
Pain and depression Depression can cause pain — and pain can cause depression. Sometimes pain and depression create a vicious cycle in which pain worsens symptoms of depression, and then the resulting depression worsens feelings of pain. Leading to unexplained physical symptoms such as back pain or headaches.
Pain and the problems it causes can wear you down over time, and may begin to affect your mood. Chronic pain causes a number of problems that can lead to depression, such as trouble sleeping and stress. Disabling pain can cause low self-esteem due to work, legal or financial issues. Depression doesn't just occur with pain resulting from an injury. It's also common in people who have pain linked to a health condition such as diabetes or migraines. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/pain-and-depression/faq-20057823
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Ongoing sad, anxious, or empty feelings
Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
Feeling irritable or restless
Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once enjoyable, including sex
Feeling tired all the time
Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions
Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, a condition called insomnia, or sleeping all the time
Overeating or loss of appetite
Thoughts of death and suicide or suicide attempts
Ongoing aches and pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease with treatment.
Physical symptoms are common in depression, and, in fact, vague aches and pain are often the presenting symptoms of depression (Trivedi, 2004). These symptoms include chronic joint pain, limb pain, back pain, gastrointestinal problems, tiredness, sleep disturbances, psychomotor activity changes, and appetite changes. A high percentage of patients with depression who seek treatment in a primary care setting report only physical symptoms, which can make depression very difficult to diagnose. Physical pain and depression have a deeper biological connection than simple cause and effect; the neurotransmitters that influence both pain and mood are serotonin and norepinephrine. Dysregulation of these transmitters is linked to both depression and pain. Antidepressants that inhibit the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine may be used as first-line treatments in depressed patients who present with physical symptoms. Many physicians consider patients to be in remission when their acute emotional symptoms have abated, but residual symptoms—including physical symptoms—are very common and increase the likelihood of relapse. All symptoms must be measured in order to achieve full remission. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC486942/
It has been established above that depression and chronic pain are closely related, which is where appropriately applied remedial therapy comes into the equation. Skilfully applied remedial therapy can be a powerful intervention in the treatment of depression, and its association with chronic pain. It has been found that once the cause of the pain is successfully identified, it can be placed into remission, or at least minimised. Thereafter, the patient often has a new lease on life, and is then able to enjoy life again. Albeit, without the benefit/burden of anti-depression drugs and their side effects.
Indeed, anyone can perform massage; anyone can rub a sore spot, and almost anyone can provide relief. However, few therapists can identify the correct sequence, the correct muscle, or group of muscles that are causing the problem. Once the CORRECT treatment is discerned and applied, the appropriate environment is provided for the body to begin the healing process. The correct treatment obviously stretches and relaxes tight muscles, but most people think the tight muscle is the sore muscle. Generally that is not the case; generally the sore muscle is the overstretched muscle, which is then in a weakened state - weak and sore. Is an overstretched muscle that is already weak, going to benefit from being stretched and weakened further by the therapist?
Not much! The correct treatment is to stretch the tight, strong and shortened muscle, and that is rarely done. The usual practice among therapists who are lacking this understanding, is to offer relief without permanency. Ask yourself, how many times have you gone to a therapist that gives relief, but you have to keep going back, sometimes two or three times a week? Certainly, follow-up treatment is usually required to break a chronic muscle imbalance, or an incorrect mind/body connection. However if you are not either better, or satisfactorily improved after three treatments, it is my opinion that you are going to the wrong person who lacks understanding of your particular condition - Feel free to phone and enquire about a possible solution for you.