More than 80% of Americans will suffer back pain at some point in their life.

While many of these people will successfully alleviate their pain with conservative treatments like chiropractic care or massage, others will find only mild relief from such treatments and will continue to struggle with chronic pain for months or even years. For people dealing with constant pain, physical discomfort is often just the beginning of their struggle. More subtle side effects of chronic pain will often disrupt their life in less obvious ways, too.

Did you know?

Back pain can limit productivity at work. When you’re in pain, sitting or standing for extended amounts of time can be unbearable. Too much pain also can make it difficult to concentrate. Together, these things work to prevent you from exerting extra effort on the job, limiting your performance.

Back pain can wreak havoc on relationships. Routinely turning down invitations from family or friends to get together? Running out of excuses to avoid leaving the house? Sometimes, chronic back pain can make it difficult to enjoy hanging out with other people. Over time, this can lead to you—and the people you love—feeling isolated or left out.

Back pain can kindle other health issues. If you’re in too much pain, it can feel like a burden to shop for healthy food and cook nutritious meals. Forget about exercising. When chronic back pain interferes with your ability to take care of your overall well-being, other health issues can arise, such as fatigue, difficulty sleeping, unhealthy weight gain and more.

Back pain can foster addictions. To try to keep chronic back pain under control, many people turn to over-the-counter or prescription pain medications. While pills may provide pain relief for a while, long-term use of medications can have adverse effects on your health and, in worst-case-scenarios, lead to addictive behavior.

Back pain can deteriorate self-esteem. Given all of the above, it may not be surprising that people with chronic back pain are at risk for developing mental health conditions. When you’re not able to do the things you enjoy, be with the people you care about or be the best version of yourself, your self-esteem can plummet. In turn, this can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression.

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