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Can Depression Cause Back Pain

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Best Treatments For Chronic Back Pain And Depression

Depression and Back Pain

If you’re suffering from chronic back pain and depression simultaneously, there are a number of health professionals that can treat your conditions. A multidisciplinary approach is often the best way to treat chronic back pain and depression.

You may want to consider working with a combination of behavioral therapists, physical therapists, pain specialists, and doctors. They may prescribe a variety of treatments including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This therapy aims to change the way you think and cope with negative symptoms so you can stop them from reappearing.
  • Medications: Medications such as pain relievers and antidepressants can help treat depression. However, it’s important to consider their side effects and try them out to see how your body responds.
  • Support Groups: There are many online and in-person support groups for people who are in the same boat as you. You may find it beneficial to surround yourself with others who are also coping with chronic back pain and depression.
  • Biofeedback Therapy: Biofeedback can help you feel more relaxed when you’re stressed or uneasy. You’ll be able to try out various techniques and receive real-time feedback so you can find out what works best for you.

If you’re living with chronic back pain and depression, seek medical attention as soon as possible. This way you can work toward the happy, comfortable lifestyle you’ve been longing for.

But How Does Anxiety And Depression Fit Into That Pattern Is It Any Different

When we become depressed we might be lethargic, sad, anxious, worried and fearful of the future. We can find ourselves in a repeat loop a seeming endless cycle of frustration and melancholy.

At the bottom of this pit of despair can lie basic assumptions that we are making about our past and our future. The present might seem like a painful place as we agonise about what has been, and what is to come.

Our muscular reactions are no different than in the flight, fight or freeze response we are, in effect reacting to an internal stimulus that is telling us we have reason to be fearful. And like the sabre tooth tiger in the aforementioned post, it can hurt us so we freeze, or panic in order to try to combat that fear.

This leads to deep muscle tension, muscle stiffness, chronic back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, frozen shoulders and back spasms.

Total Chiropractic Can Help Improve Your Overall Health

Dr. Todd Goldman of Total Chiropractic Care has the years of experience and tools at his disposal to improve your spinal health, and as a result, improve your overall health and well-being. Our Medford office includes state of the art equipment, an extensive list of offered services beyond spinal adjustments, and are dedicated to helping our patients beyond the confines of our offices. Reach out to us and start getting more out of your day, every day.

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Depression And Back Pain/ Chronic Pain

Generally, when it comes to depression and back pain, the types of depression associated are major depression or clinical depression. Depression is associated with chronic back pain and lower back pain . As discussed above, chronic back pain is both a symptom of depression and a cause. This means that the two are interconnected and one can kickstart the other into action.

Experiencing mostly just lower back pain? Learn about the symptoms, treatments, and what to look out for.

Subject Characteristics And Prevalence Of Low Back Pain

Research Says Back Pain Can Be Caused by Depression

Subject characteristics including gender, age, prevalence of LBP by grade, and scores on the Zung Depression Index and Modified Somatic Perception Questionnaire are reported in . The grade of low back pain as a function of gender is illustrated in . It should be noted that 27 subjects elected to not disclose their gender and were excluded from the analysis of low back pain and gender. Similarly, 28 subjects elected to not to disclose their age. Notably, a total of 49% of the population were classified as grade 0, 24.9% of the population were classified as Grade 1, 5.4% of the population were classified as Grade 2, and 20.7% of the population were classified as Grade 3. There were more females than males in the subject sample, resulting in more females in each category of low back pain grade. The percentage of each grade within genders was quite comparable, although there were 10.5% more males in the grade 0 category, and 6.9% more females in the grade 3 category. Ninety five percent of subjects were between the ages of 17 and 20.

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Depression & Chronic Pain: Symptoms & How To Treat It

Feb 14, 2018 | Patient

A lot of people with chronic pain report feeling depressed. For many people, its a chicken or the egg scenario. For instance, did I start feeling depressed or anxious because of my chronic pain? or is my back pain a physical manifestation of my depression?. Regardless of how your back pain and depression came to be, what often goes unspoken is the known link between depression and back pain. Pain and depression are positively interconnected.

People with depression are much more likely to experience back pain and people with back pain are more likely to be depressed. People with depression also feel pain more intensely than others. As such, back pain and depression can feel like a vicious cycle where depression is both a symptom and cause of back pain.

Read on as we break down depression and chronic back pain. We will answer what is depression?, share back pain and depression symptoms, explain how back pain and depression are connected, and share how you can work through these physical and mental setbacks.

Depression Impacts Spine Surgery Outcome

Research has clearly demonstrated that non-physical variables such as depression, anxiety, thought patterns, and personality style can impact a spine surgery outcome .5 Unfortunately, it appears that in many cases, having a major depression may not bode well for the outcome of a spine surgery.

For instance, as discussed by Block et al. , spine surgery patients who are clinically depressed pre-operatively may continue to display depressive symptoms post-operatively and these can negatively impact the surgery outcome.5 Particular symptoms that may impede post-operative recovery include such things as low motivation, sleep disturbance, slower healing time, difficulty with physical rehabilitation and inability to perceive improvements .5,6

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Seeing A Chiropractor For Back Pain

Chiropractors are educated and trained at treating the body as a whole for overall better health and well-being. These professionals know that there is a direct relationship between pain and mood, and they create treatment plans that relieve the symptoms of both physical pain and depression.

With more and more people turning to non-traditional, holistic approaches to healthcare, the idea of visiting a chiropractor has become a lot more popular. In fact, somewhere around 35 million adults and children in the United States get treated by these experts every year.

When you go in for a chiropractic visit, tell your professional about all of the symptoms you are dealing with in both back pain and mental health. They will check the spine to see if there are any misalignments. Sometimes a simple adjustment of one of the vertebrae in your spine can lead to better blood flow and muscle relaxation.

Just like that, with the relief of your lower back, the emotional causes will be releaved, too, because you are more capable of completing your everyday tasks once again. If you dont want to be administered potentially harmful prescription medications to deal with your health condition, a chiropractor is an effective natural option to try out.

International Study Finds Back Pain And Mental Health Closely Tied

Phoenix Spine & Joint | Back Pain & Depression

Back pain appears to be a common ailment all over the world, and oftentimes, it co-occurs with mental health issues.

In a new study published in General Hospital Psychiatry,1 researchers found many countries with predominantly people in the low to middle income range suffer from back pain and chronic back pain much in the same way as people in more developed higher income nations.

No matter ones income, back pain and mental health issues can go hand in hand.These people also report suffering from various mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, stress sensitivity, sleep problems, and psychosismental health issues that seem to have an intrinsic relationship with back pain symptoms.

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Incorporating Physical Symptoms Into Treatment Goals

As with any general medical disorder, full remission should be the long-range objective in the treatment of mood disorders. Many physicians consider a patient to be in remission from depression when his or her acute emotional symptoms have abated, but residual symptoms, including physical symptoms, increase the likelihood of relapse. Physicians should move beyond simple treatment of acute symptoms to a model in which patients are treated until full remission is achieved a virtually asymptomatic state rather than simple response should be the ultimate goal of therapy. Many patients treated with antidepressants fail to achieve full remission, and the costs, both social and economic, of relapse or residual symptoms are high.

Numerous studies have shown that patients with major depression who have residual symptoms after treatment have higher relapse rates and they relapse earlier than do those without residual symptoms. In fact, relapse rates are 3 times higher in individuals who have residual symptoms after they have achieved significant improvement than in individuals with no residual symptoms. One may infer, then, that the likelihood of relapse is significantly reduced in patients who attain asymptomatic remission.

The Relation of Residual Symptoms to Relapse in Depressiona,b

Treatment Options For Stress

The first thing we do with every patient who has back pain is determine its root cause. Its important to understand that no adult can expect to live 100 percent pain-free or stress-free. However, we can discuss ways to minimize discomfort and help patients feel less tense.

An effective way to reduce stress and back pain is to exercise and stretch more.

Physical activity can release endorphins and improve overall health, which can help reduce stress. Make a point to get up during the work day and do a few laps around the office every few hours, or try a standing desk. At home, reserve time to exercise. Physical therapy also can help relieve spine pain and return your neck and back to optimal flexibility. A physical therapist can show you specific stretches to pinpoint trouble areas in your neck and back.

Eating a healthy diet also can help reduce stress.

When you eat well long term, your general health can improve, and you will likely feel more energetic. Healthy eating is key to weight loss and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight offloads pressure from your spine and improves your posture.

Additionally, its important to make time in your schedule to relax.

Many patients with back pain are very busy with work, family, and social commitments. Carve out time to read a good book, spend time with family and friends, or practice mindfulness or meditation.

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Achieving Remission In Patients With Physical Symptoms

Treating both the emotion and the physical symptoms associated with depression together is an important part of achieving remission. Unlike selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as sertraline and paroxetine, the dual-action antidepressants venlafaxine and duloxetine inhibit the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine. This dual action gives them a robust efficacy in combating depression and preventing the persistence of symptoms, which increases the likelihood of achieving remission. Numerous reports have indicated that therapeutic agents that act on multiple neurotransmitters are associated with higher rates of remission than are single agents. The selection of therapeutic agents proven to effectively promote both an elimination of a broad spectrum of symptoms and a return to full social functioning is important to the treatment of depression.

Because a majority of patients with depression initially seek treatment for the physical symptoms of depression rather than for their emotional symptoms, physicians are often aware of patients’ physical symptoms when treatment commences. Primary care physicians may want to consider using dual-action antidepressants as a first line-treatment in depressed patients who present with physical symptoms.

Can Going To A Chiropractor Help With Anxiety

Lower Back Pain Can Cause Depression

One stressor causing physical pain and ailments leading to the cause of more and different conditions are the kinds of things chiropractors look for to get to the root of your problems. Chiropractors have many tools at their disposal besides spinal adjustments, such as massage therapy, magnetic resonance therapy designed to reduce the symptoms of chronic stress, lifestyle advice, and more.

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Are There Doctors That Can Treat Both Depression And Back Pain

Most physicians specialize on a narrow area which means youd have to have two different doctors if you suffer from both depression and low back pain. Dr. Nelson is uniquely qualified to provide effective treatments for both conditions. He has successfully treated thousands of patients with low back pain. He is also an expert in using Prolotherapy for knee pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, and helping people recover from automobile accidents .

How To Stop Anxiety From Causing Further Back Pain

Under the assumption that your back pain is caused by anxiety, treating that back pain does require a focus on the pain itself. Unfortunately, while treating anxiety can reduce your back pain in the long term , breaking the cycle of back pain depends in large part on your ability to also fight the back pain itself. Consider the following tips:

These are all traditional ways to deal with back pain unrelated to anxiety, but theyre still effective because once back pain starts, it needs to be stopped using traditional methods.

But of course, controlling your back pain is only step one. You will still need to learn ways to cope with anxiety so that you can stop your anxiety back pain from occurring again.


Anxiety causes muscle tension, inactivity, changes in posture, and other changes that can all lead to back pain. The pain is real, so over the counter painkillers, stretching, and similar treatments might be needed to eliminate the pain. In the long term, it becomes important to stop the anxiety.

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How Can I Prevent Back Pain In The Future

While Dr. Williams and the caring team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta are hyper-focused on helping patients become pain-free, preventing future pain is one of their top priorities. Follow these lifestyle and behavioral tips to help ensure you avoid back pain in the future:

  • Sleep with your spine in a neutral position
  • Practice good posture

How To Cope With Chronic Back Pain And Depression

Breaking The Pain-Depression Cycle – Southeastern Spine

Chronic back pain lasts for more than three months. Unfortunately, it can prevent you from completing everyday tasks and leading the happy, fulfilling life you deserve. Therefore, it’s no surprise that chronic back pain and depression go hand-in-hand. In fact, research has shown that depression and anxiety affects 30 to 50% of individuals with chronic back pain.

In most cases, depression can intensify chronic pain and chronic back pain can magnify depression. People with chronic back pain are three times more likely to face symptoms of depression while those with depression are three times as likely to experience chronic back pain.

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Low Back Pain And Anxiety Depression & Mental Health

Our body is interconnected.

This means that theres usually more than meets the eye, and the sources of some symptoms can come from surprising places. What goes on in our minds has a much more significant impact on the well-being of our body than we realize.

Mental and physical health go hand in hand, so looking after one will nurture the other, and vice versa. If youre suffering from low back pain and youre not too sure why its worth exploring avenues that relate to your stress and anxiety levels. You never know what you might discover.

What Helps Back Pain

Treating pain can help patients return to normal both physically and mentally. Certain medications and therapies can target both pain and depression. Patients benefit the most when chronic pain and depression are treated together. A few treatment options include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of therapy addresses negative thinking patterns and teaches patients coping skills to manage depression and pain.
  • Relaxation training. Because stress aggravates the pain and increases symptoms of depression and anxiety, relaxation training works to reduce stress.
  • Physical therapy. A physical therapist can help improve mobility, reduce pain, and improve mood by teaching techniques for muscle relaxation.
  • Exercise. Physical activity can improve mood and decrease pain.
  • Group therapy. Self-help groups provide psychological support for dealing with pain and depression and anxiety. Support groups can be local to your area or found online.

Between 30 and 50% of people who suffer from chronic pain also struggle with depression and anxiety. Chronic pain can influence a persons thoughts and moods in a big way. Patients who suffer from severe back pain, for example, may isolate themselves from others, feel increased stress and feelings of worthlessness. This cycle is hard to break.

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Can Depression Cause Back Pain

It can work the other way around as well, which implies that they can feed into each other in a vicious circle.

Research shows that people who score in the highest 25% of depression scores have four times the risk of experiencing neck or low back pain. To quote the study from the scientific journal Pain: Depression is a strong and independent predictor for the onset of an episode of intense and/or disabling neck and low back pain.

Again the causes arent always clear, and in some cases, it could be linked to sensitization of the nervous system for example. But as before, some reasons are pretty obvious.

Depression can make you less active. And inactivity is a big factor behind many cases of back pain, and physical aches and pains in general. Your body is built to move around, and when it doesnt, it complains. I believe that a lot of physical discomfort is the body protesting that its not being used the way its meant for. Such as walking and running, bending and lifting, pushing and pulling, and moving things around.

There are antidepressants of course, and some studies have shown that tricyclic antidepressants might also help reduce low back pain.

But those medications might not be suitable for everyone, and its up to your doctor to decide if its right to prescribe them.

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