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Prescription of antidepressant drugs for chronic back pain should not be considered lightly.

Prescription of antidepressant drugs for chronic back pain should not be considered lightly.

Prescription of antidepressant drugs for chronic back pain should not be considered lightly.


For the vast majority of back pain sufferers prescribed with antidepressant medication, depression (or more accurately their depressed state or feeling) is purely a byproduct or symptom of their back pain.  


None of these people had depression when they were pain free. More importantly if their debilitating back pain was eradicated they would no longer have the depressed feelings associated with chronic back pain.  


Antidepressant drugs play an integral role for people suffering from mental health issues.

To clarify, this article by no means is discrediting the importance and effectiveness these drugs have in helping people.


However, when they are prescribed to people who only have feelings of depression for one reason and one reason only - chronic back pain, then we strongly disagree with this medical intervening approach.  


For most people what does chronic back pain represent? The dull ache or even severe pain drains people, but rarely is this what causes people to feel depressed.


It is what chronic back pain takes away from them:

  • The husband/ father whose highest value is his work and providing for his family. The fear of not being able to continue work due to chronic back pain creates natural feelings of stress, anxiety and depression.
  • The wife/ mother that cannot bend over to pick up the children or stand at a bench to prepare meals for fear of her back going into a severe spasm.
  • The young adult who cannot socialise with friends due to long periods of standing and alcohol consumption flaring up the inflamed discs of the lower back.
  • The student who can no longer study due to the agony of being seated for long periods of time with chronic back pain


Whilst the reasons people feel depressed are different, they all link back to what is most important to that individual (ie their highest value). If you take away what is most important to people, the natural byproduct is loss, stress and a depressed state.  


The sole focus must be on addressing the chronic back pain and eradicating it.  Mind altering drugs are not the answer to chronic back pain, they are just a short term band-aid solution to the effect on the mind that chronic back back creates. The problem with these drugs is that the side effects often interfere with the process of correctly rehabilitating ones back pain. The side effects of antidepressant drugs prescribed to people who do not have mental health issues, who have natural depressed feelings due to the loss (most often temporary) of what they love most in life can have a lasting negative effect.


For more information on a permanent solution to your back pain please

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