There’s no doubt that January is one of the most depressing times of the year; December’s festivities are over, our wallets are emptier and it’s back to the daily grind. But could the January blues cause back pain? Quite possibly, according to our Newcastle under Lyme chiropractor.
Depression is the most common emotion associated with chronic back pain. Depression can cause pain, and pain can cause depression. Sometimes, back pain and depression result in a vicious cycle where the pain worsens symptoms of depression, and then the resulting depression increases the feelings of pain.
For some people, depression can cause unexplained physical symptoms such as back pain, neck pain or headaches. For many, this kind of pain is the first or only sign of depression. Inevitably, pain and associated problems can wear you down over time and have a negative impact on your mood. As well as this, chronic pain can cause a number of problems that can lead to depression, including sleeping problems, stress and low self esteem.
The type of depression that accompanies chronic pain is referred to as major depression or clinical depression. These feelings go further than what would be considered normal sadness or feeling “down” for a few days.
Some of the symptoms of depression may include:
- A predominant mood that is depressed, sad, blue, hopeless, low, or irritable, which may include periodic crying spells
- Reduced appetite or significant weight loss or increased appetite or weight gain
- Sleeping issues
- Feeling restless or experiencing feelings of fatigue
- Loss of interest in activities/ hobbies
- Reduced sex drive
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Concentration or memory problems
- Thoughts of death, suicide, or wanting to be dead
To get symptoms of pain and depression under control, you may need separate treatment for each condition. However, for some people, certain treatments may help with both.
Remember that it’s relatively normal to feel a little “blue” in January, but it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of depression, including chronic pain.