Chronic Back Pain

Dealing With Chronic Back Pain That Is Stressing You Out


Dealing with chronic back pain is difficult for anyone. When dealing with back pain, it’s not just the pain that has to be dealt with. Stress, anxiety, and depression can make coping even harder. Learn how to manage pain and mental health.

All-around mental distress can exacerbate pain and worsen the stress you are already experiencing, creating a vicious cycle. There are treatments available for mental health and chronic back pain that can help get a handle on both simultaneously; what you should know about the connection and the therapies that can help.


Dealing with Chronic Back Pain and Mental Health

Back pain is widespread, and it is estimated that about 90% of Americans will experience back pain. A small portion will develop chronic back pain that lasts more than 12 weeks. A variety of medical problems can cause chronic back pain. Injuries to illness are all pathways to chronic pain. Pain differs for everyone, depending on the cause, affected area, and the individual. For some, the pain might feel like a mild, persistent ache. While others, the pain could be a continual throbbing.

One factor of chronic back pain is the emotional response that happens when it presents. If you stress or fixate on the pain, you perceive it to be much worse. This can lead to more stress and:

  • Anxiety
  • Appetite changes
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep issues

These problems then feedback in pain and significantly affect relationships, work, ability to function, and quality of life. The single step to take is to reach out to a doctor. They can check for mental health issues, begin treatment for your psychological/physical problems and refer you to specialists.




There are many approaches to treating chronic back pain and the psychological issues that come with it. Not every treatment regimen works for everybody. The best system is usually a combination of techniques. Psychotherapy, explicitly talking therapy, can help treat physical and emotional pain. One of the most-researched forms is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

During a session, you learn how to identify adverse reactions and work to change them into positive thoughts and actions. This therapy is directed by a therapist and can be done individually or in a group. The idea is to alter the initial response to manage better how the pain affects you.


For many, medications are an effective way to manage mental health issues; some can help relieve the pain.

While these drugs can be helpful, many can come with side effects. Antidepressants can cause:

  • Blurry vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Bathroom issues

Pain Rehabilitation

Chronic pain rehabilitation programs are another option. With rehab, a team of doctors/physical therapists from different areas of medicine work together to address the medical, physical, and mental issues that come with the pain. Every treatment program is customized to the patient, and while treatments are usually conducted at a medical clinic, they can also be done online.

Pain rehab includes:

  • Addressing any underlying conditions
  • Improving physical function
  • Reducing reliance on pain medication
  • Helping you cope with stress, anxiety, and more


Integrative Health

Alternative health approaches can help control back pain and ease the mind. Research has shown that certain alternative practices do work to relieve pain. There is evidence that the following therapies can help reduce chronic back pain, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Low-level laser therapy
  • Mindfulness-based stress breathing exercises and imagery
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga

Other treatments

Electromyography biofeedback is a therapy where low-level electric signals are used to help gain control over muscle movement. Some patients find journaling, massage, prayer, and other relaxation techniques to help cope. Before beginning complementary treatments, speak with your doctor if you have questions or health issues.


Regular exercise and a healthy diet are the most effective and widely recommended methods for relieving stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain and improving physical function.

Low-impact workouts like:

  • Stretching
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Yoga

These all are helpful for people with chronic back issues. Talk with a doctor about physical exercises that are safe. Proper sleep can help, like poor sleep and sleep deprivation increase stress, which leads to more pain. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should go for 7 to 9 hours regularly. Wake up, go to bed at the same time every night, and turn off electronic devices.


Eating healthy can boost mood and help relieve back pain by promoting weight loss. Enjoy complete meals full of lean proteins, whole grains, and vegetables while limiting the intake of processed foods, added sugars, and saturated fats. Avoid excess alcohol and smoking, which are linked to chronic back pain. Learning and dealing with chronic back pain and re-searching successful treatment options can be long and frustrating. Understanding the condition and cutting yourself plenty of slack can go a long way to helping you feel better.


Depression and Chronic Pain



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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Dealing With Chronic Back Pain That Is Stressing You Out" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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