Depression more pervasive among back pain sufferers


CHICAGO, IL., July 17, 2007 – A study 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 Hub ( 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 message boards (, 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.

Sylvia Marten

About ( is a respected health information resource that serves over 7 million visitors annually. The site’s strict editorial standards and medical review process have made it a favorite of consumers, physicians, researchers and more. publishes health and lifestyle articles about back pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, pain management, medications, surgery, fitness, weight loss, depression, insomnia & more. also features award-winning message boards, a pain blog, and advice columns.


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