A case study of a patient with lower back pain and depressive symptoms was published in the March 2006 issue of the scientific periodical, Clinical Chiropractic. In this case, a 71-year-old female sought chiropractic care for low back pain of 12 years' duration. The patient also noted that she was currently experiencing depression and mood swings but did not have a history of depression and had never been diagnosed with depression. Upon testing using the Beck Depression Inventory version I (BDI-I), she did show positive for mild depression.
Chiropractic care was initiated and continued over an 11 week period. The results were that the patient had a significant reduction in lower back pain as well as a reduction of her score for depression. The improvement on depression was documented using a follow up BDI test. She not only reported feeling better but also a more positive feeling about her overall well being.
The definition from the National Institute of Mental Health is "A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. People with a depressive illness cannot merely ‘pull themselves together' and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last weeks, months or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help people who suffer from depression."
The authors of this case study concluded, "This case is important because it illustrates the need for chiropractors to be aware of screening for depression and to be knowledgeable about the management of depression, especially in the elderly population."