The Link Between The Winter Blues And Spine Pain

Category: Spine Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 11, 2019

Winter-Depression

The holiday season isn’t always a festive time for everyone, and in fact, the cold winter season can actually have the opposite effect on a number of people. Cold weather and less daylight have been linked to an increased risk of depression and depressive thoughts, which can actually manifest into physical issues. In today’s blog, we explain how the winter blues can have a significant impact on your spine health.

Depression and Your Spine

Depression and mood disorders can arise at any time of the year, but more cases tend to come about during the cold and often dark winter season here in Minnesota. And while you may think that depression just affects your mindset, it can certainly impact your physical health, and oftentimes it has negative consequences for your spine. Here’s a couple of ways depression can have an impact on your spine health.

  • Lack of Motivation to Exercise – Being depressed can leave you feeling like you want to do nothing, and that lack of exercise can stunt the health of your spine. Your spine and your whole body needs regular exercise to function optimally, so if depression is keeping you from being active, it’s negatively affecting your spine health.
  • Your Diet – Depression can also drive food choices, making some people crave unhealthy options or affecting others’ desire to take the time to cook a healthy meal. Depression and weight gain from poor food choices and lack of exercise are often linked, and this extra weight will put more stress on your spine with each step your take.
  • Poorer Treatment Outcomes – Research has shown that depression, anxiety and negative thoughts can have an adverse effect on patient outcomes following spine surgery. This is due to the belief that these psychological factors can negatively impact areas of your life like motivation, sleep quality and adherence to a rehab program, all of which are essential following surgery.

Now that we know how depression and back pain can be linked, it’s easy to draw some conclusions on how to prevent and treat both conditions. Treating the underlying cause of depression is key in order to address your mental health, and once that is being safely managed, odds are you’ll see a decrease in spine pain. When you’re feeling physical pain, it’s important to remember that you may not be dealing with just a physical issue. Sometimes you need to treat your mental health as well.

Dr. Sinicropi has helped a number of patients get to the bottom of their spine pain and explain its correlation to their overall mental health. He also has numerous contacts in the medical community who specialize in treating depression, seasonal affective disorder, mood swings and other mental health issues that could be contributing to your pain. Oftentimes a multifaceted approach is needed in order to address both the physical and mental needs of the patient, but it’s well worth it in the end.

So if you or someone you know is struggling with the winter blues or is feeling depressed this season, talk to a spine professional, especially if it’s beginning to cause physical symptoms. For more information, get in contact with Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.

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