Relationship Between Depression and Chronic Pain

Relationship Between Depression and Chronic Pain

Long-term or chronic pain is difficult to bear. The combination of persistent pain and clinical depression makes things extremely challenging.

The effects of depression on pain perception are profound. It’s a pain because it affects daily life. However, it is essential to be aware that psychotherapy and medication can help relieve pain of this form.

Understanding Chronic Pain

In cases of the chronic pain symptoms persist for far longer than would be expected from the underlying cause. Chronic pain can be caused by a variety of factors;

levels of stress chemicals that are significantly higher than normal

  • lack of vitality
  • Issues of the mind and spirit
  • Sore muscles
  • Mental and physical capabilities below average.

The heightened sensitivity to pain brought on by these physiological shifts is a major contributor to the worsening of chronic pain. You could start to feel pain in areas that were previously fine.

It has the potential to wake you up in the middle of the night. Experiencing this can leave you feeling exhausted and less motivated to get things done during the day.

See also: Managing Chronic Nerve Pain for Better Sleep

Constant suffering might make you short-tempered and irritable, making interpersonal relationships challenging. This can all feel overwhelming if you’re also a full-time parent or worker. As a result, you may experience increased irritation, despair, and even thoughts of suicide.

Chronic Pain – The Result

People who live with chronic pain often struggle with depression. It can further aggravate a patient’s existing medical disorders and their management. Take a look at these numbers:

  • There are over 32 million persons in the United States who have reported experiencing pain for more than a year, as reported by the American Pain Foundation.
  • Depressed mood affects anywhere from one-fourth to more than half of those who visit doctors to complain of pain.
  • Sixty-five percent of depressed patients report physical discomfort.
  • Those who suffer from chronic pain and are unable to perform daily activities on their own may experience an increase in depression.

A major barrier to treating depression in patients with chronic pain is that it is often misdiagnosed. Most people see a doctor because they are in pain. Depression, along with its accompanying sleep difficulties, loss of appetite, low energy, and reduced physical activity, can exacerbate existing pain.

Is there an Existing Cycle?

Everyone has a different emotional reaction to pain. Anxiety, impatience, and agitation are common side effects of being in pain. When you’re hurting, those are all natural reactions. The stress response typically lessens along with the pain.

However, if you suffer from chronic pain, you might be on edge all the time. Negative feelings typically linked with depression might develop as a result of stress if it persists over time. These are some of the issues that people who suffer from both chronic pain and depression face:

  • Change in disposition
  • Anger
  • Persistent feelings of dread
  • Relational tensions in the family
  • Fatigue
  • Concern about Physical Harm
  • Worries about money
  • Loss of fitness and stamina
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Isolation from others
  • Excessive or inadequate weight gain
  • Issues at the Office

Why Do They Overlap?

Some of the neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that function as messengers between neurons) are shared between depression and chronic pain. Some of the same neural circuits in the brain and spinal cord underlie both depression and chronic pain.

The negative effects of chronic pain on daily living might further exacerbate feelings of despair. Loss of physical activity, sleep, social support, friends, romantic partners, sexual partners, and even a career and source of income are just some of the devastating consequences. In those already predisposed to clinical depression, these setbacks can deepen their sadness.

As a result, the pain becomes more intense and you have less resilience to deal with it. Keeping active to alleviate stress becomes a daunting task.

Chronic pain sufferers who also experience depression have been studied in relation to individuals who suffer from simply chronic pain. Those that possess both have stated:

●       Increased suffering

●       The ability to shape their own destiny is diminished

●       More negative methods of dealing with stress

Oftentimes, treatment for both chronic pain and depression is administered simultaneously. Both can be enhanced by certain drugs.

Does a ‘Whole Life’ Strategy Exist?

A person’s entire life can be altered by the presence of chronic pain and despair. Therefore, a comprehensive therapy plan takes into account all the ways in which you’ve been impacted.

It stands to reason that there would be some degree of treatment overlap between the two illnesses given their close relationship.

Will Antidepressants Work for Both?

Certain antidepressants are commonly used to treat both chronic pain and depression since they can involve the same neurons and neurotransmitters. Many antidepressants have been shown to lessen the intensity of felt pain.

Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline HCL (Elavil) and nortriptyline, have a large body of research supporting their efficacy (Pamelor). They can be quite helpful in relieving neuropathic pain, which originates in the nervous system and includes conditions like migraines, herniated discs, and other spinal nerve root issues.

However, their negative effects have led to their decreased prevalence. On the other hand, recent antidepressants such the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (Cymbalta, Effexor) appear to be effective, typically with fewer adverse effects.

What Advantages Does Physical Activity Provide?

Most folks in constant pain don’t work out. However, if you neglect your fitness, you open yourself up to greater damage and discomfort. In order to create a workout routine that is both healthy and appropriate for you, it is recommended that you see your doctor.

Working out at the gym has been shown to reduce feelings of depression by stimulating the production of the same neurotransmitters that are targeted by antidepressant drugs.

Should You Talk About it?

A key component of cognitive therapy for chronic pain is teaching patients to recognize and challenge their own destructive “automatic thoughts.” These tend to be skewed versions of the truth. If you spend time with a therapist, they can show you how to alter your cognitive processes and thereby improve your mood.

It’s been shown to help with anxiety and sadness as well as chronic pain. If you suffer from chronic pain, your quality of life, including your job and leisure time, will suffer. That may alter your perception of oneself.

It’s essential to get moving and assume responsibility for your own life. It is crucial to choose a doctor who will not allow you feel sorry for yourself.

Effectively Managing Chronic Pain and Depression

Consult a pain management expert or your primary care physician to formulate a treatment strategy. Working with a doctor is especially important when dealing with both chronic pain and depression.

Consider that the best plan for pain management will likely consist of several components as you design a strategy.

There are organizations and websites that can provide assistance. Don’t give up on the plan until you’ve got the pain and depression under control and can get back to doing the activities you love. Look for a local cognitive therapist who specializes in chronic pain.


For more information on chronic pain management, pain disorders, chronic pain resources, psychogenic pain, effective chronic pain treatment options or other physical therapy, you should book a consultation session with a specialist at Chronic Therapy today, to give you professional advice that will suit your personal experience.

Also, for people with chronic pain who are constantly worried on how to treat chronic pain or get their chronic pain treated, our specialist at Chronic Therapy have made huge success over the year in recommending reliable resources to manage chronic pain from nerve pain or any other developing chronic pain conditions.

Managing Chronic Nerve Pain for Better Sleep

Managing Chronic Nerve Pain for Better Sleep

If you suffer from chronic nerve pain brought on by conditions such as diabetic neuropathy, physical trauma, sciatica, lupus, arthritis, or any of the other aforementioned conditions, you may discover that your pain is significantly worse throughout the night.

Even though not many people suffer chronic pain, but it is usually common for persons who suffer nervous system disorder or from nerve pain to claim that they have increased pain at night or once they get into bed.

Your pain may make it more difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep, which may, in turn, make your discomfort as well as your general health and well-being even worse. It’s a circle that never ends.

First, let’s investigate the possible causes of your nerve discomfort getting worse at night, and then we’ll look at some potential solutions to help you obtain a better night’s sleep.

Why Nighttime Nerve Pain Is So Much Worse

A number of factors can contribute to chronic pain, and the same is true for nighttime pain. Although not all of the causes have been pinpointed, the following are some hypotheses that could explain why you experience more pain during the night.

Position of the Body

When you are standing, the weight of your body does not exert the same kind of strain on your nerves as when you are lying down. However, when you are laying down, this weight can put pressure on your nerves. This occurs frequently with sciatica and other types of persistent pain that are brought on by pinched or compressed nerves.


A better night’s sleep is often achieved by lowering the temperature. However, the cold can also make the discomfort associated with arthritis worse. It is possible that neuropathy will make you more sensitive to cold temperatures and will increase the likelihood that these temperatures will cause you pain.

Attention and Distraction

It’s possible that when there are fewer things to take your mind off the pain, you’re simply more aware of it at night. This does not mean that the pain is not real; it is; nevertheless, it does mean that you may be more aware of it at night than you are during the day, when you have other things to keep your mind occupied.

Hormone Levels

The levels of your hormones, as well as your metabolism and a number of other biochemical processes, change as your body gets ready for sleep. It’s possible that some of these shifts will make your pain worse.

One hormone that has been shown to reduce inflammation is cortisol. However, during the first half of your sleep cycle, your cortisol levels drop so that you can rest. Unfortunately, this can make the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis much more severe.

Timing of Medication Administration and Dosage

It’s possible that the painkillers that work so effectively during the day are starting to lose their effectiveness too quickly in the evening. Or the biochemistry of your body at night may necessitate a different dosage or medication to treat the symptoms.

How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep Despite Chronic Pain

It’s possible that you and your pain management professional will need to try out some experimental methods in order for you to enjoy better sleep. It’s possible that treatments that are effective for one type of chronic pain won’t be as effective for another, and your body will react in its own one-of-a-kind way.

Here are some suggestions for how you can lessen the pain you experience during the night and have a more restful night’s sleep.

Experiment with Sleeping in a Variety of Positions.

Changing the way you sleep can help reduce some of the strain on your nerves if the source of your chronic pain is a pinched nerve or other form of nerve compression. People who suffer from sciatica who favor sleeping on their side, for instance, frequently discover that it is advantageous to sleep with the affected leg elevated while in bed. Those who suffer from hip or knee discomfort can discover that sleeping with a pillow between their legs provides them with some relief.

Make Adjustments to Your House Temperature

When you go to sleep, try shifting between a few different temperatures in the room. It could take some time before you discover the temperature that is just right for you—one that is cool enough to help you sleep but not so cold that it makes your pain much worse. Consider keeping a notebook in which you record the room temperature, the quality of your sleep, and any pain you experience each night. After some time, look for patterns in the data.

Ensure That You Get Enough Exercise Throughout the Day

Exercising throughout the day can help alleviate certain types of chronic pain, and it also has the potential to improve your quality of sleep. Have a conversation with the medical professional who manages your pain about the types of physical activity that are acceptable and risk-free for you.

Develop Some Sleep Healthy Patterns

The stimulations you experienced throughout the day may take your mind off the pain, but they won’t help you get to sleep. Create a pre-sleep ritual that will assist in getting your body ready for rest. Turning off the television and any other screens one to two hours before going to bed, doing something relaxing like reading a book or soaking in a warm bath are all examples of this. Anything that will help you unwind and relax before you go to bed will be beneficial.

Get Your Thoughts Ready for Some Sleep

The anxiety that comes along with having chronic pain can make it much more difficult to sleep. Try practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises to bring down your stress level and assist lessen the impact of any discomfort you may be experiencing. They also provide you with something else to focus on rather than the agony that you are experiencing.

Contact Specialist at Chronic Therapy on Managing Chronic Pain

Tell your primary care provider if the pain medications you’re taking start to wear off or stop functioning as effectively during the night so you may consider other treatment options with them. For those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, for instance, their physician may advise them to take modified-release corticosteroids to prevent inflammation during the night.

Get Plenty of Rest to treat chronic pain

Do not, under any circumstances, allow yourself to go without sleep while remaining silent. A lack of quality sleep on a consistent basis will only serve to make your chronic pain worse, and it will prevent you from enjoying a higher standard of living. Having less discomfort during the night and sleeping better will help you feel better throughout the day.

You can arrange an appointment at any United Physician Group Pain Management practice if you would like some assistance in managing your pain in order to improve the quality of your rest and overall health. We provide excellent therapies that provide about alleviation that is long-lasting. We will assist you in having a good night’s sleep and regaining control of your life.


For more information on chronic pain management, pain disorders, chronic pain resources, psychogenic pain, effective chronic pain treatment options or other physical therapy, you should book a consultation session with a specialist at Chronic Therapy today, to give you professional advice that will suit your personal experience.

Also, for people with chronic pain who are constantly worried on how to treat chronic pain or get their chronic pain treated, our specialist at Chronic Therapy have made huge success over the year in recommending reliable resources to manage chronic pain from nerve pain or any other developing chronic pain conditions.