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Antidepressants for Chronic neck pain?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I was wondering as i am new to this board if anyone has been presribed antidepressants for chronic neck pain? If you have does it help you combat the pain and depression and what are you taking and dosage? I have C5-6 C3-4 herniated discs, with NO arm pain numbness or tingling, but have had 2 injections which did not help. I have been dealing with this with many epiosdes for 7 years. I'll be able to cope with it for a month, then it acts up. Its back and forth all the time. I am very afraid of surgery and my doc told me that since i dont have numbness/tingling/burning or major weakness that i should do other therapies beside surgery. I have an office job which i must work at and i have 3 young children to support and a wonderful wife. I pray to God he helps me. I know in myt heart im doing the right thing by working becuase i HAVE too. Thankyou for listening and i am new to this forum. I am eager to hear your thoughts on my original subjuset of antidepressants.


  • Let me welcome you and try and answer your question. I went back and forward for several years with neck pain, felt like I had a bad crick in the neck most of the time and then my right arm started hurting and it was 2 years after my arm pain that I had surgery. That was due to having a stupid doctor that said my arm pain was due to stress. As long as your neck pain is just that and not involving any nerves you are probably better off without the surgery. Surgery does not always stop the neck pain but does stablize the neck and prevent further damage to nerves. About 2 months ago I was put on Remeron and yes it is helping with my pain. This is the first time since my surgery 2 years ago that I have felt half way human so for me the antidepressant works. I do have a lot of nerve pain and take neurontin for that. Hope this helps.

  • Sharon,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. I've tried Celexa which helped me feel great for 3 weeks now i might have regressed. I've tried almost everything for relief, execept spinal decompression machines at chiropractic offices. I may give this a shot. I use ice, but it is only temporay. Any other suggestions for relief?? thanks
  • Well, I think I know how you feel.
    On many occasions I've felt down and have looked up the depression tests on the net, and they say I probably have a depressive illness.
    But then I feel OK again and get over it.
    What gets me down is not the pain, but the erosion of enjoyment, fun, spontaneity, the feeling of being useless, watching others going out and socialising while I stay home, watching others just chat happily.
    I have mentioned the depression trend to doctors but they don't respond, and I guess it's not bad enough yet.
    My pain doc has referred me to a clinical phsio to get me into an exercise and stretching routine, to get some mobility and strength back. This should also make me feel happier by being physically better, so in effect a counter to feelings of depression. That was acknowledged as one of the benefits.
    But the funny thing is that I just can't get a clear enough head to start on the routine! Will have to get some treatment for the headaches first.
    This doc recommends rhizotomy in preference to steroid injections, so may try that. Don't care, will try anything.
    So as far as I know, your options are:
    Do nothing.
    Take pain meds.
    Have facet joint injections.
    Have epidural blocks.
    Have rhizotomy.
    One thing-I don't have the mental energy to think about being depressed when I have a continual headache.

    You are probably under a lot of mental and physical stress altogether, and can't afford to get depressed.
    Speak to your GP about it, and see if you can work on a plan to methodically try different treatments. He may prescribe something for the short term, but don't bank on it.
    Try to examine everything you do to see if any stresses can be eliminated.
    By taking charge in these ways, you may feel empowered instead of helpless. A good mental attitude is helpful, as is keeping busy in a happy way.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I don't know if they help the pain or not but you'd think they'd help with the worry over the job, family, and everyday stresses that are caused by the neck pain. Are you on any kind of NSAID? I can't help you with any solutions to this because I can't find any for myself...but I wanted to let you know that I understand what you're going through. I worry about the fact that I can't do all the things I like or need to do and I worry that others think I'm just lazy and all the stress does make everything worse. I hope you find something to help you soon. Take care
  • Welcome to spine-health. Let me say you are not alone in how that works with you feel better then it comes back. One thing that might also help you isolate your issues is try journaling your pain. Journal the activities your doing and you may find a pattern that your not aware of. You may be unaware what is setting the pain off and usually we get into a cycle for awhile for pain. The cycle will break and you feel better. What kind of meds are you currently taking? I do use cymbalta at twice a day 60mg. I can't say if that med will help you or if it really helps the pain as much. I used the two nerve meds lyrica and nuerontin and had some bad side effects so switched to this. Now the cymbalta i think helps me more when i hit the bad pain cycle it doesn't let me get dragged down so low with it. I been using if for almost 2 years now so it would be hard for me to say what it is doing pain wise anymore. Another thing not sure if you have tried maybe accupuncture there is some very positive research coming out as a effective treatment as well. My experience has been it takes a combination approach to get the pain under control. So while a drug may help you may also need massage therapy or some other form of combination. Keep working at with the docs and seems your very open to new treatments which is great. Keep us posted on what you do. Welcome to spine-health.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

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    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message
    Sometimes that becomes the biggest question that one has to answer. Do I continue with conservative treatments or do I go ahead with the surgery. I know that many other members will back me up when I say that you should always try all the conservative treatments first, and maybe a second time before you opt for surgery. Unless there is a pressing issue and that is something we cant tell you but only you doctor can to have surgery in the near future. Most of those times it is because of nerve related problems due to a disc situation.
    I was going back and forth for about 3 years before I had my first cervical ACDF. Since I had already had 4 lumbar surgeries, I wasnt all that keen on having another spinal surgery. I would have good months, then I would have bad months and it wasnt until that period where my bad months would greatly outnumber my good months that I talked it over with my family and doctor that surgery was the answer.
    I dont have any regrets regarding my cervical surgery. In fact, I had another ACDF 4 years later. First iw twas C5/C6 and then C6/C7.. Now, looking at my total spine, the cervical area is in the best shape.
    The biggest move is making that decision. Sure that can leave you pretty down, you dont know what to do.. You heard good stories, you heard horror stories, I think everyone has heard a few. If it gets to the point where you feel it is difficult to control any anxiety or your emotions, then perhaps your should discuss antidepressants with your doctor.
    Dealing with spinal problems is tough enough, you dont want to add any additional stresses
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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