At first glance, arthritis and depression don’t seem connected. However, studies show not just a causal link, but also an ability of one condition to exacerbate the other. This vicious cycle, which can seem to never end, involves pain leading to depression and that depression worsening existing pain. 

Why are Depression and Joint Pain Linked? 

Regarding the connection between depression and joint pain, there are several hypotheses among experienced researchers. One theory is that severe joint pain prompts a lifestyle change. Arthritis patients have been known to engage in less physical activity and tend to spend less time outdoors. This can also be true for those suffering from depression. 

 

Another hypothesis suggests that increased levels of depression limit a patient’s ability to cope with physical pain. This means a person’s perception about their arthritis condition can become even more negative, which makes their pain seem much worse than it would seem to someone not battling depression.

 

One other possible reason why pain and depression are linked is because both depression and pain share the same neurotransmitters and pathways, including norepinephrine and serotonin. This can paint a very bleak picture for those with arthritis. 

Don’t Let Your Joint Pain Get the Better of You

There are options for those experiencing feelings of depression due to joint pain. According to the results from a clinical trial published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a focused depression care intervention worked to not only decrease patient levels of depression, but also to improve arthritis outcomes. This included decreased pain and, in some cases, improved bone condition. 

 

Additionally, there are many different types of joint pain management options ranging from pain medications to physical therapy and even surgery. One non-surgical option to help manage pain is the Arthrokinex joint health program. Arthrokinex not only includes Interleukin 1-RA injections, but also lifestyle, nutrition and exercise programs developed to helping patients live whole, complete, lives without debilitating joint pain holding them back.