While back pain is typically associated with physical complications, new research has found that it could also be linked to the emotional state of sufferers.
According to Science Alert, Australian researchers have discovered that people with depression are 60% more likely to develop low back pain at some point in their life.
The study, which was published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research, analyzed data from 11 studies that covered a total of 23,109 people with some form of back pain and/or depression.
Researchers found that people with symptoms of depression were far more likely to develop low back pain in the future compared to those who did not suffer from melancholia. Additionally, patients with severe forms of depression were more prone to back pain than those who suffered from minor depression.
Paulo Ferreira, a professor at the University of Sydney, believes that this breakthrough could enable doctors to diagnose patients more accurately, thus allowing them to implement comprehensive treatments that target the root causes of a patient’s pain.
“Low back pain is a debilitating condition, particularly when coupled with other health conditions, so I hope this discovery will lead to better treatment in the future,” said Ferreira.
The findings will certainly benefit the mental health community, but there is still a large percentage of back pain patients who do not suffer from depression. In these cases, experts strongly recommend chiropractic care to address the physical causes of back pain.
According to MySuncoast.com, approximately 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their life. In fact, a recent survey from the National Institute of Health Statistics revealed that low back pain is the most common type of pain in the world.
Considering the widespread prevalence of low back pain, the study from Australia should benefit the millions of people who are believed to suffer from both back pain and depression. As part of their research, the study’s authors found that up to 48% of those with back pain also live with depression.
The study did not come to an absolute conclusion regarding the reasons for this correlation, but its authors believe that it could be due to lower levels of physical activity amongst those who suffer from depression.
Poor sleep patterns, issues with neurotransmitters, and genetics were also mentioned in the study as possible reasons that many people suffer from both disorders.