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How Living With Chronic Pain Can Impact Your Mental Health

Living with chronic pain often feels like carrying an invisible burden that weighs on the body, mind, and soul. It’s a constant reminder of the limitations and struggles that can affect every part of daily life. The worst part is that beyond the physical symptoms, chronic pain can even impact someone’s self-worth, effectively eroding their hope with each passing day.

Here, our pain management specialists at Impact Medical Wesley Chapel explain the relationship between chronic pain and mental health and things that can help alleviate feelings of hopelessness.

The Correlation Between Chronic Pain and Mental Health

Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons that patients seek medical care with our pain management doctors. Overall, chronic pain can exacerbate dependence on opioids, anxiety, and depression.

It has been found that the more severe the chronic pain is, the more prevalent mental health problems are.

Common Chronic Pain Conditions

There are many kinds of chronic pain, and today we will highlight a few of the most common.

Neck & Back Pain

While the mild ache that most people feel as back pain can be attributed to sleeping in a strange position, from a muscle strain at the gym, or dealing with stress, other kinds of back pain are long-lasting and can be caused by injuries like those sustained in car accidents.

When back or neck pain becomes debilitating and affects daily life it has been found to cause major depressive symptoms that last longer than those who are not experiencing chronic pain.

Chronic Migraine

Chronic migraines are those that are defined as lasting for 15 or more days a month for three months or more. These migraines often coincide with other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression as chronic migraines can cause restriction from favorite activities and isolation.


Pain is caused by inflammation in one or more of the body’s joints There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis including:

  • Osteoarthritis: In this type, the protective cartilage inside of the joints breaks down, making movements painful. Over time bones and joints in the body may rub together causing excruciating pain.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: The immune system attacks the body’s joints and organs, causing ongoing inflammation that causes permanent damage.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis: The joints, connective tissues, and skin are all affected as the immune system attacks the body causing inflammation.

Research has found that mood and anxiety disorders are common among those with arthritis as compared to people who do not have it due to the pain and limitation of movement that arthritis causes.


This is a chronic disease that causes several different symptoms and is characterized by a disconnect in the way that the brain and spinal cord process pain signals.

Even the slightest touch could cause pain for a person suffering from fibromyalgia and it is most often associated with widespread pain in the muscles and bones, tender areas throughout the body, and fatigue.

Fibromyalgia has been found to cause anxiety disorders, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Multiple Sclerosis

MS is characterized by nerve damage that disrupts proper communication between the brain and the rest of the body.

Depression, anxiety, and what’s known as the “pseudobulbar affect,” are common health problems for those with MS. The pseudobulbar affect causes uncontrollable laughter or crying that can be quite debilitating.

It has been found that people with MS are more than two times more likely to experience Major Depressive Disorder than those who don’t suffer from it.

Treatment for Chronic Pain & Mental Health

Unfortunately, chronic pain can be tricky to treat, but there are ways that our team at Impact Medical Wesley Chapel can help alleviate some of the discomfort.

We offer minimally invasive pain management procedures such as:

  • Discography
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Facet joint injections
  • Radio-frequency ablation
  • Percutaneous discography
  • Selective nerve root blocks

We also recommend using these procedures in conjunction with our other modalities such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Manual therapy
  • Mental health counseling

Eating a healthy diet and getting restful sleep are important to treating chronic pain.

Stress-reduction techniques such as exercise, meditation, journaling, and learning coping skills can be quite helpful. These can greatly enhance your quality of life.

Remember, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Talk to your family and friends and let them know what you are going through. Lean on them when you need to.

Read More > At What Point Should I Visit a Doctor for Pain?