A Little Adversity Bodes Well for Those with Chronic Back Pain

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new study by researchers at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Irvine, to be published in the September issue of the journal Pain, reveals that, for people with chronic back pain, having a little adversity in your life can be protective and beneficial.

These individuals experience less physical impairment and spend less time in doctor’s offices or health clinics, says the study’s author Mark Seery, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at UB, who emphasizes that the key to the benefit is the experience of “some” prior adverse events as opposed to many or none at all.

“This study of 396 adults with chronic back pain (CBP) found that those with some lifetime adversity reported less physical impairment, disability and heavy utilization of health care than those who had experienced either no adversity or a high level of adversity,” Seery explains.

“The data suggest that adversity-exposure also may protect against psychiatric disturbances that occur with CBP,” Seery says, “and additional analyses found no alternative explanations of our findings.”

Read more here.

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