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6 Ways to Deal with Chronic Pain and Depression

About 40-60% of chronic pain sufferers deal with chronic pain and depression. This relationship between chronic pain and depression is not well understood. However, there are some common methods for dealing with the combination of depression and chronic pain.

how to deal with chronic pain and depression

How to Cope With Chronic Pain and Depression

1. Reduce Stress

When we think of chronic pain and depression most of us can imagine that chronic pain can cause a depressed mood. What about your mood causing your chronic pain? Some experts believe that stress, particularly, can lead to chronic pain. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg question. But, regardless of which came first, reducing your stress can have beneficial effects on your mood and your body. As such, reducing your daily stresses is one way of coping with chronic pain and depression.

2. Meditation and Relaxation Techniques

Learning meditation and relaxation techniques can help you reduce stress. And, as we just learned, this can have beneficial effects on pain and mood.

In addition, meditation itself can also affect both mood and pain. Tension and tight muscles can intensify pain. Meditation reduces this tension and, as a result, often reduces pain. Relaxation techniques and meditation can also help you deal with negative emotions and improve your mood.

3. Therapy

While seeing a therapist may not resolve your chronic lower back pain it may provide you with a different way of coping with it. Chronic pain can impact your entire life and being. It affects your activities, lifestyle and mood. Therapists can help you manage how you deal with your chronic pain, mentally. This can, in turn, lead to a more positive state of mind.

4. Exercising

Exercising can have a positive impact on both chronic pain and depression.

For example, performing regular back exercises can help strengthen the back and reduce pain. In addition, strengthening your core can help reduce the load on your spine and may minimize further back pain.

An additional benefit of exercising is that it increases endorphins in your body which can elevate your mood.

5. Acupuncture

Although there is disagreement in the scientific community about the benefits of acupuncture many strongly believe in its benefits. Supporters say that it’s effective in relieving pain. With minimal side effects acupuncture is one option for chronic pain sufferers.

6. Treatment through Medication

There are various pharmacological treatments for both chronic pain (ie: NSAIDs) and depression (ie: anti-depressants). Each of these drugs comes with its own sets of risks. These risks should be weighed carefully against the potential benefits to determine if medication is the appropriate course of action.


  1. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/11-tips-for-living-with-chronic-pain#1
  2. https://psychcentral.com/lib/living-with-chronic-pain-and-depression/
  3. https://academic.oup.com/bjaed/article/14/2/85/271557
  4. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/chronic-pain.aspx
  5. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/somatic-psychology/201004/the-connections-between-emotional-stress-trauma-and-physical-pain


*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
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