Back Pain Links to Mental Health Problems

Talk to Your Pain Management Doctor in NJ

mental health problem

Did you know that people who did experience back pain were likely  to experience one of five mental health conditions – anxiety, depression, psychosis, stress, and sleep deprivation?

Back pain is a leading cause of disability across the globe. In fact, it causes more global disability than any other condition.

According to the Global Burden of Disease study, lower back pain affects almost 1 in 10 people.

There is also strong evidence that back pain negatively impacts quality of life and raise the risk of other physical health problems. Additionally, it comes with substantial healthcare cost.

One earlier study of note used data from the World Mental Health Survey and found that chronic back or neck pain was associated with increased risk for mood disorders, alcohol abuse, and anxiety disorders.

The analysis showed that, when compared with people without back pain, those who did experience back pain were more than twice as likely to experience one of five mental health conditions – anxiety, depression, psychosis, stress, and sleep deprivation.

Major depression or clinical depression is the type of depression that often accompanies chronic back pain. The symptoms of major depression occur daily for at least two weeks and include at least 5 of the following:

  • A predominant mood that is depressed, sad, blue, hopeless, low, or irritable, which may include periodic crying spells
  • Poor appetite or significant weight loss or increased appetite or weight gain
  • Sleep problem of either too much (hypersomnia) or too little (hyposomnia) sleep
  • Feeling agitated (restless) or sluggish (low energy or fatigue)
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Feeling of worthlessness and/or guilt
  • Problems with concentration or memory
  • Thoughts of death, suicide, or wishing to be dead


Additional facts:

  • People with chronic back pain were also three times more likely to experience a depressive episode and 2.6 times more likely to experience psychosis.
  • Study used such a large group of people across a section of populations, the findings can be considered highly reliable.

Be sure to talk to a back pain specialist in NJ. To arrange for a private consultation with Dr. Ronak Patel on pain management, call and schedule an appointment at (609) 269-4451.