Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

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Men

Focusing on key health issues that men face, we give you the tools to figure out your risk factors, recognize early warning signs, and take the right steps to ensure a long, healthy life.

Overview

Your emotional health and well-being are as important as your physical health. Pay attention to how you feel. Take action if you feel anxious or down to help protect your overall health.

Pay special attention to these issues:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse

Anxiety

Everyone feels anxious sometimes. It is a normal reaction to some of life's challenges. Anxiety causes hormones to flood the body that:

  • Increase the rate of breathing.
  • Make the heart beat faster.
  • Cause the muscles to tense up. This is called the "fight or flight" response.

Anxiety may also have physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomachaches and sleep problems.

If feelings of anxiety don’t go away and become overwhelming, talk to us. We may screen you for a possible anxiety disorder. We’ll ask you about your:

  • Emotional and physical symptoms, and how long you’ve been having them.
  • Ability to get on with your regular life activities
  • Medical history

The good news is that there are effective treatments to manage an anxiety disorder.

Stress

Stress is a normal reaction to a difficult or painful situation in daily life. Financial, work, or family problems can all contribute to stress. Stress can cause:

  • Aches and pains
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • A weakened immune system

Talk to your doctor if stress is:

  • Extreme or unusual
  • Ongoing
  • Interfering with your daily activities

Your doctor can recommend lifestyle changes or classes to help you manage stress. If stress is harming your health, your doctor may refer you to a mental health professional. That person can help you deal with the challenges that are causing your stress.

Depression

Depression is underdiagnosed in men. Depressed men are more likely to complain of physical problems including headache, backache, and fatigue. Other common symptoms of depression include:

  • Irritability
  • Lack of interest or enjoyment in activities
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of loneliness or sadness

Men are less likely to seek treatment for depression. They are more than 4 times more likely than women to commit suicide.

If you are having thoughts of harming or killing yourself, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. Call your doctor If you:

  • Feel down or depressed on most days.
  • Have lost interest or pleasure in your regular activities.

Depression is treatable. There are several treatment options including lifestyle changes and therapy. Sometimes medications are needed.

Anger

All of us get angry at times. It's healthy to express your anger but not in a way that distances you from your friends and loved ones.

Anger can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease. Managing your anger is important for your overall health and for sustaining healthy relationships.

Talk to your doctor if your anger:

  • Interferes with your relationships
  • Results in violent or dangerous behavior

We can recommend anger management classes. We may also refer you to a mental health professional. He or she can help you to learn skills to change your thinking and behavior. This will help you deal with your anger in a healthier way.

Substance Abuse

Men, more than women, may have a difficult time admitting they feel down, unhappy, or hopeless. Men are 5 times more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to feel better.

Drugs or alcohol can feel like a quick fix for anxiety or stress. However, they can cause serious physical and emotional health problems. Potential problems include:

  • Not being able to meet work, school, or family responsibilities.
  • DUI arrests and car collisions.
  • Medical conditions. These include liver and heart problems.

It’s not always possible to avoid situations that make you feel anxious, angry, stressed, or depressed. However, you can learn how to manage these feelings.

We can work together to help you improve your mood and decrease feelings of sadness, anger, or stress.

Help for Substance Abuse

Addiction is a medical condition that can be treated. However, it’s possible to abuse alcohol or drugs without actually being addicted. Answering “yes” to any of the following questions may mean you have a problem with alcohol or drugs.

1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking/using?
2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking/using?
3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking/using?
4. Have you ever felt the need to drink/use first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

Talk to your doctor. You can also call the Chemical Dependency Department directly.

Tips for Staying Emotionally Healthy

Some ways to improve your sense of well-being and to reduce anger, stress, anxiety, and depression include:

  • Getting regular exercise.
  • Spending time with family and friends. They can support and encourage you. Avoid isolating yourself from others.
  • Eating a healthy well-balanced diet.
  • Doing things you enjoy.
  • Limiting alcohol and other drugs.
  • Getting enough sleep.

To reduce your feelings of anxiety or anger, try:

  • Relaxation exercises. Some relaxation techniques help you become aware of tension in your body. You learn how to relax specific muscles to reduce tension.
  • Yoga.
  • Meditation. Take 10 minutes a day to close your eyes and clear your mind. Focus on your breathing.
  • Deep breathing.
  • Guided imagery. Imagine specific images that reduce anxiety and stress.

Related Health Tools:

Interactive Programs
Podcasts
Videos

See more Health Tools »

If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

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