If you’re not already utilizing chiropractic care to resolve your back pain and reduce the likelihood it will return – not to mention improving your overall health and wellness – that means one of two things: you haven’t suffered back pain (yet) or you’ve decided to temporarily suppress the pain with over-the-counter or prescription medications. The latter is, as mentioned, a temporary solution that doesn’t address the root causes of the pain, while the former is also likely temporary, since an estimated 80 percent of adults will suffer back pain at some point in their lifetime.

Back pain can be a problem for a variety of reasons beyond the pain, whether it’s limiting your daily function, forcing you to take time off work, or otherwise impacting your life. But there’s another reason suggested by recent research that should vault “getting rid of back pain” to the top of your priority list: Back pain could increase your risk of suffering mental health problems.

The study used data from the World Health Organization’s World Health Survey 2002-2004 and involved more than 200,000 study subjects ages 18 and older from 43 countries. Data analysis revealed that compared to people without back pain, those with pain were more than twice as likely to suffer from one of five mental health conditions: anxiety, depression, psychosis, stress and sleep deprivation. Subjects with chronic back pain were particularly at risk for a depressive episode (more than three times more likely) or psychosis (2.6 times more likely) compared to pain-free subjects.

Think you’ve got your back pain handled? Nice try. Do something about the pain – and the potential mental health consequences – with regular visits to your chiropractor.