Chronic pain and mental health are connected. The solution is too.

May 4th, 2021  by  Sarah Lasker – Senior Marketing Manager

Depression and chronic musculoskeletal (MSK) pain are deeply connected.


During a time of social isolation with COVID-19, understanding the connection between musculoskeletal (MSK) pain and mental health is crucial. For employers, both depression and pain are extremely prevalent, costly, and a top 5 reason for absenteeism in the workplace. MSK pain and depression feed off each other and create a cycle that has profound impacts on employees.

For example, Lennell worked in Florida in the public sector and battled with depression and chronic knee pain. The pain intensified the depression, the depression intensified the pain. Her battle became a vicious cycle of pain, stiffness, and isolation.

“I’ve battled with depression. It’s a vicious cycle of pain and stiffness and isolation. And then along comes Hinge Health and you feel the progress — I just feel better… I’m doing things with people that I used to have to say no to because of knee pain.”

But Lennell isn’t alone. More than 16 million adults in the United States have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. And 1 in 2 employees are dealing with an MSK condition such as back or joint pain. What’s equally notable is the overlap between the two:

  • Of people who live with depression, 65 percent also have chronic pain
  • Of those people who have chronic pain, up to 50 percent will experience depression


When someone is depressed, both the perception of pain and the emotional ability to manage the pain is disrupted. That’s why the Hinge Health program addresses both participant pain and mental health. The Hinge Health program is founded on the three pillars of evidence-based care: exercise therapy, behavioral health and education. Hinge Health participants have access to mental health screening, cognitive behavioral therapy, and 1-on-1 health coaches trained in motivational interviewing, behavioral change, and the Patient Activation Model.

Across all Hinge Health participants to date, employers have seen an average 60%+ reduction in pain, 50%+ reduction in anxiety and 75% reduction in depression.

Hinge Health’s complete clinical model combines 1-on-1 video visits with dedicated physical therapists & health coaches and technology to more effectively reduce chronic back and joint pain at lower spend. To find out how employers are addressing chronic pain and depression, download the white paper below.

Sarah Lasker
About the Author

Sarah is a Marketing Manager at Hinge Health. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in communication at Hamilton College. Specializing in communication and storytelling, Sarah executes top notch events, conferences, and marketing campaigns. Outside of the office, she enjoys fitness and anything outdoors, especially if her dog can join.


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