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.
If you're just recovering from depression, you may still feel pretty exhausted. Putting on your sneakers and going to the gym could seem like the last thing you want to do. But the fact is that exercise is important for both your physical and mental health.
Many studies show that physical activity can help with recovery from depression. One such study showed that exercise -- three sessions of aerobic activity each week -- worked about as well as medication in reducing the symptoms of depression...
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.
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.
Joseph Goldberg, MD on August 15, 2015