Chronic Back Pain Complications

Living with chronic pain of any kind is excruciating, but living with chronic back pain can bring a number of health concerns for any otherwise healthy patient. Chronic back pain is persistent pain that doesn’t improve after at least three consecutive months. Complications stemming from chronic back pain include both physical and psychological issues.

According to Cleveland Clinic, 80-90% of people in the US experience back pain at some point in their lives. The most common sources of back pain are damage to or injury of the spinal vertebrae, spinal discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerves in the spine and back. If such pain goes untreated, more serious problems can develop.


Nerve Damage

Back pain that comes from a slipped or herniated disc can put increased pressure on the nerves that run through the spinal canal. Too much pressure can damage nerves that go to other areas of the body, bringing about pain and weakness in those areas. The sciatic nerve is just one nerve that can be affected by compression. It extends from the lower back all the way down the back of each leg. Sciatica symptoms include lower back pain, hip pain, burning or tingling down one of the legs, shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand, weakness or numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot.

Loss of Work due to Disability

Severe back pain is the top reason given for people missing work due to a disability. It is also the most common reason for disability in working adults who take sick leave. Chronic back pain makes it difficult to sit, stand, or bend for long periods of time, meaning that it can significantly hurt your employment.

Weight Gain

Being in constant pain prevents one from seeking activity. Chronic pain can prevent a person from regular exercise, which is part of a healthy lifestyle. Restricted movement due to back pain inevitably causes one to put on weight and lose muscle mass. Overall posture can be severely affected over time as the body acclimates to one standard position that is held to avoid pain.


Psychological Complications


More than just having a bad day, depression is a constant state of low mood. This can easily set in overtime as one is prevented from performing daily activities or socializing because of severe chronic pain. One can also become easily agitated and bitter toward family and loved ones, which can lead to depression as relationships deteriorate. As depression sets in, it can also impede any recovery from surgery or rehabilitative treatments as the patient loses motivation to recover.


Severe pain often causes disruptions in a person’s sleep pattern, which can lead to insomnia. Not getting enough sleep can also bring about a negative, irate mood and difficulty dealing with day-to-day events.

If you have reason to believe that chronic back pain is holding you back from enjoying a fruitful life, don’t hesitate to contact a New Jersey pain doctor. At Garden State Pain Control, our team of specialists is ready to serve you! Call 973-777-5444 today.