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Last Updated on July 4, 2016

Few physical ailments are far more common than back pain, that may influence 8 of 10 individuals at some point in their lives. Obviously, you can find many back pain causes, which come along with symptoms ranging from a mild, temporary soreness to persistent, debilitating pain necessitating measures that are serious to fix. However, sometimes, back pain may lead to a secondary, surprising consequence: the beginning of depression.

back pain and depression

According to Joseph Garbely, DO, chief medical officer of Friends Hospital in Philadelphia, depression is just not a risk factor for everybody with back pain. But if you have severe or long-lasting back pain, then you certainly might need to be worried about your mental health as well. “Major depression is thought to be four times greater in people with persistent back pain in relation to the typical citizenry,” says Dr. Garbely. “Persistent back pain is the key here. Acute pain is just not correlated with depression, but continual pain is.”

What is more, it seems that your danger of depression increases with all the seriousness of your back pain. “A 2004 study revealed that major depression rose in a linear manner with severity of pain and that the greater the pain, the higher the depression rate,” includes Garbely.

Does Back Pain Cause Depression?

At first, it may appear strange that a mental issue like depression and also a physical issue like chronic back pain are strongly linked. However , when you look a bit closer, it starts to make sense. Garbely explains the symptoms of back pain could cause a slippery slope that results in depression.

To start with, people who have persistent back pain often not get enough sleep. “Sleep is really important to all of us, and if we are sleep-deprived for spans of time, eventually that’s planning to take its toll on our emotions and cause major depression,” says Garbely.

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Furthermore, the physical pain often makes people withdraw from their usual activities as well as social interactions, which also can contribute to depression. The pain could cause individuals to remove from sex or familiarity using a family member, too, as well as the inability to work can eventually result in financial issues.

Occasionally, the pain medicine itself can cause depression. Garbely says that numerous medications prescribed for pain “possess a dulling or depressive effect. The medicine also affects your memory and focus, all symptoms of depression.”

The important thing? “Both sides of the cycle (pain and depression) have been looked at independently of one another, and studies have concluded that each could bring about the other,” says Garbely.

The best way to Fight Back Pain-Related Depression

What’s fascinating about back pain and depression is that they appear to be linked that getting depression relief might actually lead to back pain alleviation. So Garbely advises treating chronic pain symptoms and your depression symptoms with assistance from a specialist. “Depressed mood will increase the perception of pain, so it really intensifies the pain itself,” says Garbely. “So if you treat depression, pain is improved.” To try this, Garbely advocates seeing your physician to determine if treatment or medication may be suitable for treating your depression.

On the flip side of the coin, getting pain relief back can also help the melancholy improve. To treat your back pain, ask your physician if he is able to recommend a physical therapist or a stretching and strengthening plan.

“If motion is extremely physically burdensome for you personally because of the pain, seek some help,” says Garbely. “Try physical therapy or non-pharmacalogical ways of relieving the pain first. Of course, in some instances surgery or even more wide-ranging medical procedures might be crucial, however that is typically the primary course of treatment for back pain.”

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