FROM OUR EXPERTS
I decided to experiment with a conversation with myself. I asked a simple and basic question and worked my way to complex and confusing:
What is depression?
The DSM-5, psychiatry’s diagnostic bible, refers to various conditions that involve feeling sad, inability to experience pleasure, lack of self-worth, inability to concentrate, and suicidal thinking, not to mention dysregulated sleep and appetite and movement, though you don’t have to experience all these at once.
But everyone gets depressed, right?
True. We all have our bad days. Also, all of us experience grief and loss and major challenges in coping with life. But all this is considered within the “normal” realm of human behavior.
Things change when we lose the ability to function, whether at work or in our relationships or in our own sense of well-being. We are more than just “depressed.” We are not ourselves. Our brains are not cooperating with us. L...
Last month, the American Pain Society added to its recommendations to health care providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain .
In addition, the Society decided to discuss openly procedures that could be risky to sufferers of low back pain, including recommendations on surgery and other invasive therapies.
Unfortunately, there is not a significant body of good evidence to justify unquestioningly embracing these new recommendations. It is difficult to find well-done clinical studies which support the use of a number of the more invasive treatments used for chronic low back pain.
The initial set of guidelines for the management of chronic low back pain were published in "Annals of Internal Medicine" last October. However, these recommendations dealt more with the initial evaluation of a low back pain patient, and included thoughts on what type of x-rays to order in addition to more conservative treatments such as massage/manipulation and exerci...
Millions of children are heading back to school now, and nearly one quarter of these young people have low back pain. How can someone so young already be experiencing pain? Children are at risk for back pain if there is a family history of back pain. Girls are at higher risk than boys. Although family history and gender are not risks that can be modified, there are other risks that can be changed. By reducing the overall risk of developing back pain, a child may be able to go back to school without back pain.
General health can be improved. In particular, tobacco use is a major contributor to premature spine degeneration because of the lack of blood and nutrients to the spinal discs. Smoking causes the discs to age rapidly. Furthermore, sugar consumption causes weight gain and inflammation. Avoiding sugary drinks and foods can tremendously improve the way the spine feels. Transforming poor health into good health is a powerful way to protect a young life from chron...
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