Majority of the world’s population suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. As a result pain in the joints is a common symptom. But are you aware that depression is a major concern amongst the patients suffering from this ailment? The higher the pain, the higher the rate of depression in the patient. A lot of research has been done in this field. As per the research and their findings nearly 13 to 20% of the patients suffer from depression. This percentage is highly dependent on the social demographics as well as the characteristics of the ailment. Thus the patients have a double chance of suffering from depression compared to the general public. There is another thing that we need to consider here. The way a patient deals with depression has a lot to do with how they deal with their pain and their level of interaction with their practitioner.
Last month I had two patients who came to my clinic because they thought they had sciatica pain. One of the patients has self diagnosed himself and the other patient was diagnosed by a medical doctor. Both of these patients had excruciating pain in their lower back, which radiated down to a lower extremity. It is very common that many patients will wait for their pain to go away with rest, anti-inflammatory and pain medication. As a result, pain symptoms will get worse and get to the point where pain medications will stop working.
The first patient was a male in his early 60’s. He came to my clinic on his crutches. The pain level was so intense that he was not able to support his upper body. The pain would shoot all the way down his right lower extremity past the knee level but did not effect his toes. After thorough examination it was evident that his right SI (sacroiliac joint) was about 2 inches lower than the left SI joint. All of the nerves that were exiting from sacral foraminas (openings) were very irritated and inflamed. Every time this gentleman would place a load on his legs he would cry and I could see tears of pain on his face. After three sessions of full spine chiropractic adjustment, physical therapy (moist heat and electrical stimulation) and deep tissue massage from my CMT (Certified Massage Therapist) he was completely free of pain. I have recommended him to stop by once or twice a month for maintenance care in order to avoid future flare up and pain.