The symptoms of this disorder include excessive anxiety and worry, occurring frequently for a period of at least six months with difficulty in controlling this. Additionally, the person concerned has at least three additional symptoms including restlessness, becoming tired easily, difficulty in concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, or disturbed sleep.29 Early work suggested that female patients with chronic pain and who were not seeking compensation had a higher frequency of GAD than expected,30 although women with anxiety were not found to have a poorer prognosis compared with men in a recent investigation.31 Higher degrees of anxiety were related to greater intensity of pain in this study.31 This same study showed that patients with this symptom have a poorer prognosis and this has been shown by others.32 It has been suggested that patients with chronic pain may use worry to reduce the physical sensations associated with pain, and thus fulfil the diagnostic criteria for GAD.33 This hypothesis does not have experimental proof.
CBT has been shown to be effective in chronic painful conditions.34[I] This treatment is also used in GAD associated with pain.35 It has been shown that in patients with low back pain who have pain-related anxiety receiving CBT combined with physical therapy, that improvement in anxiety was more important than changes in physical capacity in predicting outcome.36 Similar benefits when reducing anxiety in patients with back pain were shown in a Finnish study.37 In a recent World Health Organization (WHO) survey, people with back and neck pain were over 2.5 times more likely to have GAD than controls without this condition.38 This survey was not able to show the temporal relationship between pain and anxiety, but other studies have strongly suggested that anxiety sensitivity is a feature in this population.27'36
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Tired Having Back Pains All The Time, But You Choose To Ignore It? Every year millions of people see their lives and favorite activities limited by back pain. They forego activities they once loved because of it and in some cases may not even be able to perform their job as well as they once could due to back pain.