Chronic back pain not only affects a person’s mobility and movement and increases the risk of disability, but it also impacts a person’s relationships.
When a person suffers from back pain, it can place stress on his or her marriage. These findings come from a recent study published in the European Journal of Pain. The researchers wanted to know the effect of a person’s back pain on a number of aspects, including his or her occupation and personal relationships.
They found that spouses of persons who complained of chronic back pain reported stress in their relationship. They also found that the person’s chronic back affected the spouse’s employment, with 20% of the respondents admitting that it had affected their occupations.
The researchers analysed 114 heterosexual couples, and found that unemployment status changed for more than 65% of the disabled partners, and more than 27% of the spouses. More than 17% of the patients began receiving permanent disability benefits, while more than 16% chose to quit the jobs.
Caregiving often places stress on any kind of relationship, and caring for a spouse with chronic back pain is no exception. Overall, partners admitted to spending approximately 90 minutes a day on an average caring for their spouses. In many of the cases that were analysed, this impacted their employment.
Spouses who reported changes in their employment status admitted that they had to work more hours to make up for their partner’s loss of income, quit their jobs in order to take care of their partner, or in some cases, were fired simply because they were taking time off from their work to perform caregiver duties.