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Exploring the Link Between Mental Health and Musculoskeletal Disorders

The connection between our mind and body is undeniable. When it comes to mental health and musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders, the relationship is more significant than one might imagine.

Musculoskeletal pain refers to pain that affects the muscles, ligaments and tendons, and bones. The pain can be acute or chronic, localised or widespread, and it is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical advice.

The Direct Correlation Between Mental and Physical Health

Our mental health can directly impact our physical wellbeing. Individuals suffering from mental health conditions are more likely to develop musculoskeletal disorders, amplifying the physical discomfort and pain they endure.

This happens because ongoing stress can cause changes in our bodies that lead to more discomfort. Also, when people are dealing with mental health issues, it can be harder for them to take care of their physical health. For instance, they might not be as active, which could contribute to aches and pains in the muscles and bones.

It’s alarming to learn from the Office of National Statistics that nearly 40% of adults with MSK pain also experience persistent anxiety, and over 20% battle with depression. These statistics highlight the two-way street of this relationship – our physical health can impact our mental state, and vice versa.

The Influence of Depression on Pain Perception

When a person is struggling with depression, it interferes with not only their perception of pain but also their emotional capacity to manage it. The resilience that would typically help one cope with physical discomfort becomes compromised, leading to an intensified experience of pain.

The Role of Mental Wellbeing in Managing MSK Problems

Improving one’s mental wellbeing can remarkably enhance the ability to deal with an MSK problem. A strong, balanced mental state provides a kind of emotional armour, equipping individuals to better manage the physical struggles associated with their condition.

The Importance of Holistic Care

Given this complex interplay between mental and physical health, holistic care becomes paramount. Such an approach takes into account both the physical symptoms and the emotional well-being of the patient, creating a more comprehensive and effective care plan.

At Novus Health, patient-centred care is the heart of our approach. We believe in looking at the whole person, not just their MSK pain. Our focus is on providing holistic care that addresses both physical and mental wellbeing, ensuring the best possible outcome for our patients.

Mental Health Awareness Week: A Call for Holistic Understanding

As we observe Mental Health Awareness Week, it’s essential to recognise the links between mental and physical health. By fostering an awareness of these connections and supporting holistic assessments, we can offer better support to patients dealing with MSK disorders and improve their overall wellbeing. At Novus Health, we are dedicated to this holistic vision, aiming to provide exceptional healthcare that sees and treats you as a whole.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Monday 15th May to Sunday 19th May is Mental Health Awareness Week 2023. You can find many resources, help and advice to explore over at Mental Health Foundation UK.

Or to find out more about the Mental Health support available in our Wakefield Community, these websites are a great place to start:

Wakefield Council – Mental Health and Wellbeing

Live Well Wakefield – Supporting Health Living for the people of Wakefield

Community Wakefield – Find services, activities, opportunities and events across the Wakefield District.



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