Back Pain and Depression: What's the Connection?

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People who experience chronic back pain often exhibit signs of depression and often, the reverse is true as well with those suffering from depression.

Back pain prevent getting good sleep or physical activity to keep your body strong and your outlook positive. Recognizing the connection between back pain and depression is the first step toward finding the help you need so you can get back to living the life you love.

The Mind-Body Connection

Body aches — including backaches — are one of the most common symptoms of depression for a few different reasons.

Depression can cause fatigue and discourage you from exercising and strengthening your core muscles, which in turn puts added stress on the discs, joints and ligaments in your back. Over time, this makes you more susceptible to back pain, muscle strains and other injuries.

If you have severe depression, you may also experience back pain more intensely. Because of this, everyday activities like walking, sitting for extended periods and driving may be more likely to lead to spinal strain in people with depression.

Untreated depression can make surgical interventions less effective, too. Patients with depression tend to experience fewer positive outcomes from spinal surgery. This is likely caused by how depression affects motivation and sleep quality, which are both crucial to a successful recovery.

Identifying Depression

If you think you may be depressed, tell your primary care doctor. Your spinal — and mental — health depends on it.

Some of the most common symptoms of depression include persistent and frequent:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Problems sleeping
  • Sadness
  • Thoughts of death and suicide

The good news is that depression is manageable, and when you receive care for depression and back pain at the same time, your chances of feeling better improve dramatically.

Multiple Interventions, One Goal: Whole-Person Health

Because depression and back pain are interrelated issues, it makes sense to treat both conditions as part of an interdisciplinary care plan.

AdventHealth’s extensive network of providers makes it easy with a coordinated care team that works together to ensure you feel better, sooner.

Behavioral Health Interventions

Every case of depression is different. Alleviating your pain is our number one priority. To help you get the best results from care, our behavioral health providers at AdventHealth make sure that your treatment plan is as unique as you are.

  • Depending on your needs, treatment may include:
  • Family or group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Medication management
  • Specialized interventions

Specialized Spine Care

While you work with behavioral health care providers to address the psychological roots of your pain, our spine care specialists examine the structure and function of your spine. Using the latest screening and testing techniques, we identify issues that might exacerbate your neck and back pain and deliver effective treatment interventions that can alleviate your discomfort.

Life is too short to feel physically and mentally less than your best. Find an AdventHealth primary care provider today to get the coordinated care you need for whole-person health.

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