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Depression More Pervasive Among Those with Back Pain

Spine-health study finds that 61% of people with chronic back pain also suffer from depression.

July 17, 2007

Deerfield, Illinois: A study conducted by, the leading health information website for consumers with chronic pain and back pain, reveals that depression may be much higher in back pain sufferers than previously thought.

A user poll conducted in June 2007 showed that 61% of people with chronic back pain also suffer from depression (n = 642). Previous clinical evidence estimated the incidence of depression in the chronic pain population at around 20% to 30%. In the general population, the incidence of major depression is around 5%. Depression is treated with a wide range of options, including lifestyle changes, support groups, professional counseling, and anti-depressants such as Cymbalta, Effexor XR, Lexapro, and Wellbutrin.

“The fact that many people with chronic back pain also suffer from depression is no surprise,” said William Deardorff, PhD, ABPP, a clinical psychologist and Medical Advisor for “Continuous pain drains a person physically, mentally and emotionally, and can make everyday activities difficult or impossible. What is surprising is the percentage of people self-reporting that they are depressed, which implies: (1) that depression may be under-diagnosed in the chronic back pain population and (2) that all medical professionals treating a chronic back pain patient, including surgeons, should be on the lookout for signs of depression.”

To address this issue, is making more resources available to its chronic pain visitors and practitioners that deal with depression. “We have created a Chronic Pain Health Center ( which is a resource center that addresses issues like depression,” said Stephanie Burke,’s President and Co-Founder, “and we are proactively adding tools and access to our unique patient-driven resources, like our award-winning forum, which provide a critical support network of peers for people with chronic pain.” In the coming weeks, will introduce additional resources that address depression and other important mental health issues.

About Veritas Health
Veritas Health publishes original, unbiased, and comprehensive resources to help millions of people each month make informed decisions about their health. Our rigorous editorial process is modeled after medical journals and ensures articles are reviewed with integrity and objectivity. The Veritas Health platform—including,,, and—is a trusted authority on back pain, arthritis, sports injuries, and chronic pain conditions. For more information visit


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