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Low Back Pain - Coping With Chronic Back Pain

Low back pain can take a toll on your mental health. You may feel fear, frustration, and anger or have depression and anxiety because of ongoing pain. Those common reactions can make your pain last even longer. If pain is starting to get you down:

  • Let people know when you need a helping hand. Ask family members or friends to help out with physical tasks you can't do right now.
  • Be honest with your doctor about your pain. Ask for a referral to a counselor or pain management specialist. A prescription antidepressant or antianxiety medicine may also help with chronic pain.
  • Work with your health professionals and your work supervisor to make a return-to-work plan, if needed. Ask for an ergonomic consultation if you need to learn how to do some of your job duties differently to avoid hurting your back again.

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One Man's Story:

"I started feeling sad and angry a lot. I didn't want to do anything. My back was hurting more. I was having trouble focusing on my work. My life just started feeling smaller and smaller."—Ravi

Read more about how Ravi learned he had depression and how he fought back.

Emotional support is important

You may have to lean on friends and family when facing difficult situations caused by chronic pain or other problems. Your loved ones can play an important role in supporting your recovery. Your doctor and community also may give you extra support.

Asking for support from others is not always easy. It can be hard to tell someone about your problems. But don't be afraid to ask for help.

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