Some recent research suggests that back pain and depression might have common genetic link. The thinking is that the problems that can cause one, can cause the other as well. For example, a person who has a genetic disposition to improperly process neurotransmitters might see this manifest as both back pain (norepinephrine) and depression (serotonin). It is hard to grasp the notion that a single genetic variant could cause both emotional and somatic pain. The more likely explanation for the link would be that having back pain causes one to feel depressed as a result of the back pain. But it could be that they both trace back to the same genes. It is not clear if this sort of research could lead to new ways to treat back pain and/or depression. But, it gives us another look into the murky world of genetics and the way they control our lives.