Pain and depression may be two separate conditions that frequently co-exist. A new research in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism say that it is essential to treat depression and pain separately, even if they are present simultaneously.
The researchers had studied 33 women and 20 men with fibromyalgia. This is the condition where patient feels extensive tenderness to touch along with intense pain and depression. The study was carried on to determine if increased sensitivity to touch induced pain can lead to deeper depressive feelings.
The patients were asked to discontinue antidepressants 4 weeks before the study. They had participated in pressure-pain sensitivity experiments, with magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) scans, before, during, and after the pressure-sensitivity sessions.
From the MRI scan results researchers found that heightened sensitivity to pain for fibromyalgia patients exist irrespective of depressive feelings. Also there seems to be very weak association between parts of the brain associated with chronic pain and those associated with emotions and depressive feelings.
Researchers feel that these results stress the fact that chronic pain and depression may be two different things, not associated with each other at all.