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Depression Complicates Back Injury Recovery

back painGreat Comp Time blog article by Roberto Ceniceros of Business Insurance Magazine on the relationship between depression and musculoskeletal claims. Citing a paper published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Ceniceros says “back injury claims often prove difficult to resolve and depression is also very common among claimants and the U.S. population in general.”

He quotes the paper as saying: “The best targets for treatment of disabling musculoskeletal pain are often depression and the tendency to misinterpret or overinterpret pain. But orthopedic surgeons may not be very familiar with the influence of depression or other psychosocial factors.”

Our MDGuidelines data supports this claim. Our new Predictive Modeling Tool, which shows the effect of comorbidities and other factors on return-to-work durations, clearly shows that depression and other psychosocial factors can significantly increase time away from the job for many physical conditions. If more orthopedic surgeons had access to this data, it might be more frequently factored into treatment plans, helping injured employees return to work and to healthy, normal lives more quickly.

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