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Can Back Pain Cause Depression?

depressed womanBack pain is a common condition, with four out of five adults experiencing some sort of episode in their lifetime. It is also one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Research has found that those who suffer from chronic back pain are more likely to develop depression compared to those who do not experience any kind of physical discomfort in the lower back area.

So, the answer is yes, chronic back pain can lead to depression. The constant pain and discomfort can affect a person’s ability to participate in daily activities and can negatively impact their overall quality of life. This can lead to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, which are common symptoms of depression. Additionally, depression can make the experience of pain worse, creating a cycle of pain and depression.

That’s why it’s important to seek out the care of those who specialize in treating back pain, because there are solutions and strategies available to both help relieve the physical pain and cope with the mental health challenges it creates in our lives.

Chronic Back Pain and Depression

It’s when back pain lasts for a longer period, say for longer than a few months, that we usually start seeing people experience the signs of depression: constant fatigue, trouble sleeping, little appetite, irritability, and social withdrawal. The accumulating loss of productivity can also lead to a feeling of worthlessness.

Treatments for Chronic Back Pain and Depression

Deciding on the right help for patients suffering from depression caused by chronic back pain is a challenge, and it usually requires some combination of the various treatments available. Some of the different options include:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is a psychotherapy treatment for pain. CBT is based around the concept that thoughts, feelings, and sensations are related. Through this approach, patients are helped to develop skills that can help them cope and manage their pain.

Relaxation training: It is known that stress creates and increases pain and anxiety, which can lead to depression. Relaxation practices, like yoga, muscle relaxation, and mindfulness techniques can help lessen the stress.

Exercise: Stress and anxiety can also be relieved by exercise. This can seem counter-intuitive, offering exercise as a solution when we feel in physical pain, but with the help of a physical therapist or other experts in this area, it is often possible to create exercise routines that improve the overall sense of wellbeing. It’s not uncommon to have the building of muscle strength alleviate pain and elevate moods.

The key is to see back pain specialists. They can guide you through the process, and help you find the experts that can help you to feel at both your physical and mental best.

*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
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