When fingers and hands start to ache, we immediately think of arthritis. But aches and muscle pain can be symptoms of many conditions, including depression. It's important to see a doctor for a medical evaluation to determine the cause.
Depression and pain are interrelated. Thus, when you're depressed, vague aches and pains -- such as joint pain -- become more apparent to you.
Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, a type of chemical that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another. Although serotonin is manufactured in the brain, where it performs its primary functions, some 90% of our serotonin supply is found in the digestive tract and in blood platelets.
Could your aches and muscle pain be related to or worsened by depression? Find out by keeping a symptom diary, which can help you identify patterns. Print out this symptom diary, and fill it out. Then take it to your doctor to discuss what may be causing your symptoms.
SOURCES: David Baron, MSEd, DO, chairman of psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine. WebMD Medical Reference: "Heart Disease Symptoms;" "Understanding Back Pain; and "An Overview of Arthritis." Body illustration created exclusively for WebMD by Andy Matlock.