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Conversations We Can’t Avoid: The Connection Between Mental Health Problems and Musculoskeletal Disorders

Woman in PainSummer activities are dwindling, the air is turning cooler, and the sun is setting earlier. Fall and winter are upon us, which means employees are spending more time indoors and less time being active. In turn, mental health can begin to decline while musculoskeletal disorders rise. October is Mental Health Awareness month. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that mental health is a conversation we need to have within the workplace. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, mental health disorders increased by 30 percent throughout the pandemic. Such problems affect more than mood or productivity—they can impact how the physical body feels.

Mental and physical health typically are treated as two different things, yet they are more closely intertwined. Musculoskeletal disorders are one of the most common conditions affecting the working population. An employee with chronic, unrelieved pain going through the care continuum without experiencing relief can feel a sense of helplessness. An employee with a mental health disorder can develop musculoskeletal pain due to weight gain and stiffness of joints caused by inactivity.

The Link Between Chronic Pain and Mental Health Issues

According to the JAMA Network, 65 percent of individuals with depression also report experiencing chronic musculoskeletal pain. Employees with depression have significantly more unexplained physical symptoms such as pain, fatigue and utilize more health resources than employees who aren’t depressed. The problem is nearly 50 percent of providers give an inaccurate diagnosis, keeping the employee going through the care continuum.

The combination of depression and pain is associated with worse clinical outcomes than either condition on their own—which is why having the conversation surrounding two of the top conditions burdening both employees and employers is essential.

MSK and Mental Health Disorders


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  • History and an industry overview.
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  • How to make an informed decisions about adding Regenexx to health benefits offered by
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About Regenexx

To learn how adding Regenexx can lead to cost savings and pain-free employees, call us at 877-341-5968. You also can visit the Regenexx Corporate website for more information about how this procedure can benefit your company.

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