Back pain sufferers depression candidates

PEOPLE living with back problems are 2.5 times more likely to experience a depressive disorder than the wider population, according to a report released by the Federal Government's Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

One in 11 Australians - or 1.8 million people - had back problems in 2007-08, which related to bones, joints, connective tissue, muscles and nerves.

Past studies estimate 86% of sufferers experienced pain one day a week and 14% lived with persistent pain.

According to the report, people with back problems are 1.8 times as likely to report an anxiety disorder than the wider population.

They were also 1.3 times more likely to report a substance use disorder and 2.5 times more likely to experience an affective disorder, such as depression, bipolar affective disorder and mood disorders.

"Back problems are a common reason for pain among younger and middle-aged adults, but they can start early in life, between ages eight and 10," the report says.

Estimates indicate 70% to 90% of people suffer from lower-back pain at some point in their lives.

Orthopaedic surgeon and rheumatologist Associate Professor Markhus Melloh from the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, said pain and mental health problems had a cause and effect relationship.

"About 50% of pain patients develop mental health issues after having chronic pain and about 50% have mental health issues before the onset of a chronic pain episode," he said.

Professor Melloh said it would be plausible that the stress of severe back pain caused mental health issues.

On the other hand, mental health issues could weaken the person's ability to deal with health problems and, in turn, increase the severity of their pain.

"In addition, people with mental health issues might be more sensitive to pain and have a lower pain threshold," he said.

Dr Michael Vagg, pain specialist and clinical senior lecturer at Deakin University, said many patients recovered well after back pain but those who developed chronic pain required a different treatment.

"In the pain-management world, reducing disability and improving quality of life even if the pain is not reduced is a major goal," he said.

"We have 30 years of high-quality evidence that most chronic pain sufferers don't need to see a major reduction in pain to have useful improvements in their quality of life and mental health, as long as they have access to the most effective training in self-management techniques."

Topics:  depression health

Richmond MP continues to fights for MRI

Able Medico managing partner Mark Grahame, Richmond MP Justine Elliot with Medical Staff Council chariman Dr Mike Lindley-Jones.

Justine Elliot continues to fight for an MRI at Tweed Hospital.

Learning peace of mind

BEING MINDFUL: The children of St Anthony's Catholic Primary School learn mindfulness from Angela Lockwood.

Children learn how to handle stressful stituations.

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Declan Kelly and the Rising Sun to shine bright at festival

Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun is one of the headlining acts at this year's festival.

Main stage set to pump with radiant reggae and dub vibes

Expert's talk on Olley's life is not to be missed

THE ARTIST: Artist Margaret Olley at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery in 2006.

RARE insight into the life of one of most cherished hoarders

Country star returns to roots

LIVIN' THE LIFE: Australian-born country music superstar Gord Bamford lands at Twin Towns on October 28.

Australian born, Canadian raised.

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

CCTV footage surfaces of Kim Kardashian West's robbers

The blurry footage shows three men on bikes and two on foot

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

Bank could add towns to 'high-risk' home loan list

Suburban housing in Glenvale, Toowoomba, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

NEW Gladstone region towns could be added unwanted bank list.

Tenants renting rooms on Airbnb breaching lease

Rental properties.

Tenants renting rooms on Airbnb is a no no