Link between back pain and depression dismissed

Published 14 Apr 2015

While depression and back pain prevents many people from working up to their normal capability, a recently released survey has found that these two conditions aren’t directly associated with each other.

Many people that suffer from depression or other mental health problems often experience back pain as well. While many believe that these two illnesses are connected, research from the University of Sydney suggests otherwise.

Dr Paulo Ferreria from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Health Sciences used data from 2,148 Spanish twins to investigate the link. However, found the association is actually the result of a confounding effect of common genetic factors which influence both conditions.

Based on the research, people who suffer from both depression and back pain have high levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine.

“Our case-control study reveals the association between back pain and depression vanishes when genetic and familial confounders among twins are factored in,” Dr Ferreria explained in an April 13 media statement.

“While the prevalence of patients concurrently suffering depression and low back pain is high, this new research shows it is possible there is no direct relationship between the two health conditions.”

Dr Ferreria went onto say that this research offers new information into the management and treatment of both depression and back pain. Since the research confirms that there is no link, doctors should treat each problem individually rather than through a common solution.

Depression in Australia

One of the world’s leading causes of disability, over 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition like depression at some point of their life. According to beyondblue, every year around 1 million Australian adults suffer from the effects of depression.

Depression, like many similar mental health conditions, affects people in different ways. For some, keeping busy at work is a way of coping. However, for others, it is difficult to manage from day to day and will prevent them from working on a consistent basis.

Income Protection Insurance Claims

If you are suffering from depression and unable to work, it is possible that you could get yourself or your family into a tricky financial situation. In this case, a total and permanent disability claim could be useful.

By making a claim, you’ll be able to access your superannuation fund early and support yourself during this tough time. For more information about this type of claim, contact the expert team at GMP today.

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