Low back pain and depression are two of the most common reasons for doctor’s visits. Despite this, there has been little emphasis by the medical profession on how these two conditions are related. In this article, we would like to highlight some basic information on how these combined conditions can affect your health and the best approaches to treat them to return to health.
Just like the proverbial question, “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?”, it is difficult to know for someone suffering from both low back pain and depression which condition caused the other. The important thing to realize is that there definitely is a correlation and that the best physicians and the most effective therapeutic approach will address both to return the patient to vital health and peace of mind.
What is the connection between depression and low back pain?
- Depression Increases risks for low back pain: Studies show that depression is a major risk factor that significantly increases the likelihood of experiencing both an acute back injury and chronic low back pain. Linton S. A review of psychological risk factors in back and neck pain. Spine. 2000;25:1148-1156..
- Depression increases incidence of low back pain: Statistics also show that people with depression are four times more likely to have low back pain and two-thirds of people seeking treatment for low back pain also suffer from depression. Sullivan MJ, Reesor K, Mikail S, Fisher R. The treatment of depression in chronic low back pain: Review and recommendations. Pain. 1992;52:249. Sinel MS, Deardorff WW, Goldstein TB. In: Win the Battle Against Back Pain: An Integrated Mind-Body Approach. New York: Bantam-Doubleday-Dell. 1996.
- Depression increases severity of low back pain: The severity of a person’s depression has a linear relationship to the intensity of their low back pain. Currie SR, and Wang J. Chronic back pain and major depression in the general Canadian population. Pain. 2004;107:54-60.
- Depression increases low back pain disability: It was also found that the combination of chronic back pain and depression was associated with greater disability than either depression or chronic back pain alone.
- Combination treatment works best: Treating patients for depression and low back pain simultaneously is critical. Chronic pain interferes with the clinical improvement of depression and combined treatment yields better outcomes than either interventions alone. Pampallona S, Bollini P, et al. Combined pharmacotherapy and psychological treatment for depression: A systematic review. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2004;61:714-719
- Depression blocks recovery from surgery: Low back patients with depression had more complications and worse surgical outcomes than those without depression. Block A, Gatchel RJ, Deardorff WW, Guyer R. In: The Psychology of Spine Surgery. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press. 2003.
There are many causes of depression. It may be that the person is depressed because they can’t participate in their favorite activity such as golf, tennis, cycling, hiking, or just working out.
Dr. William Nelson, of Explore Health located in Scottsdale, AZ is an expert on identifying and treating the cause of your depression whether it is due to lack of hormones (https://www.explorehealthaz.com/contents/conditions-treatments/bhrt-women), adrenal and/or thyroid disorders, lack of neurotransmitters (link to nutrition for depression on full scripts), previous emotional of physical trauma, or complicated by alcohol use disorder (direct link to https://www.explorehealthaz.com/services/addiction-medicine https://www.explorehealthaz.com/contents/sinclair-method/overview-of-the-sinclair-method), or addiction to opiates (https://www.explorehealthaz.com/services/addiction-medicine). He understands the importance of addressing physical and emotional pain and has great success utilizing the concepts of Mind-body medicine (https://www.explorehealthaz.com/services/mind-body-medicine)
Some facts on Depression from the World Health Organization (WHO)
- Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
- Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
- More women are affected by depression than men.
- Depression can lead to suicide.
- Even though there are effective psychological and pharmacological treatments for moderate and severe depression, as many as 80% of people with depression never receive treatment or are misdiagnosed or improperly treated
Most physicians specialize on a narrow area which means you’d 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. (https://www.explorehealthaz.com/services/back-pain). He is also an expert in using Prolotherapy (https://www.explorehealthaz.com/contents/conditions-treatments/prolotherapy) for knee pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, and helping people recover from automobile accidents .
Please call us at 602-692-4626 today. We can help you become pain free with our non-surgical approach and help you become pain free without opiate pain medications and prescription anti-depressants.
Facts on Low Back Pain from the American Chiropractic Association
- Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide
- Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
- One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
- Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.
- Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic this meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
- Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that is just for the more easily identified costs.