Orthopedic & Wellness Center Blog

Behavioral Disorders May Increase Risk Of Chronic Pain In Adolescents

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Blog Snapshot:
  • According to a recent study, behavioral health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, are considered early risk factors for chronic pain in adolescents.
  • The research study was published in The Journal of Pain, and it looked into the associations between mental disorders and chronic pain in children, teens, and young adults.
  • In this blog, the pain management specialists at Orthopedic & Wellness share results from the study.

     

Years prior to these findings, similar studies were conducted on adults to determine the relationship between mental health disorders and chronic pain. Although there is no simple explanation for the phenomenon, many researchers have found chronic pain, depression, and anxiety share a common link. Now, the same can be said for children, teens, and young adults.
 
According to a study published in The Journal of Pain, behavioral health conditions may be predictors for the onset of chronic pain in adolescents. The study included data from patients in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). This nationwide survey service includes face-to-face interviews with over 10,148 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 years old.
 
The surveys included very specific data about adolescent chronic pain and behavioral health disorders, which allowed researchers to determine what types of pain these groups were at risk of developing. From the collection of data, researchers were able to identify the following:
 
  1. Headaches and chronic pain were common in children with affective disorders and behavior disorders.
  2. Chronic neck and back pain, headaches, and any chronic pain were common in children with anxiety disorders and any mental health disorders.
     
Interestingly enough, these chronic pain symptoms developed in patients with behavioral health disorders and not the other way around. Meaning, children with chronic pain were not at risk of developing a mental health disorder later in life. Although these results are puzzling and do not provide a clear solution for chronic pain management, they do provide an opportunity to better understand what causes chronic pain.
 
Further research needs to be conducted before a treatment regimen or preventative plan can be put into motion for children at risk of developing chronic pain. To learn more about the study, please visit Psychiatry Advisor.
 
At Orthopedic & Wellness, we are committed to a minimally invasive approach to promote efficient pain control, higher functioning, and better quality of life! If you or someone you love is suffering from chronic pain, orthopedic, neurosurgical or spine issues don't hesitate to make an appointment by calling 240-629-3939.
We hope to see you soon!
 
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.