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April 18, 2017
Susan Callahan, Contributing Columnist

His name is Greg and he is a typical man in his early 40's.
When Greg wakes up these days, he is greeted by a familiar
torment of aches all over his body. He feels tenderness in his
muscles, in his joints, stiffness in his shoulders and legs.
doctors have found no organic reason for Greg's pain. Greg
is one of 10 million people in the United States and 420
million people worldwide who suffers from fibromyalgia, the
generalized pain disorder which has mystified doctors for

But fibromyalgia is just one condition that can make your
body sore. What kinds of diseases and medical conditions
cause body soreness and aches? Are there any natural
remedies for body soreness?

Can Depression Cause Body Soreness?

Physical aches and pains are often the first symptom of
depression, according to a 2004 study from University of
Texas Southwest Medical School. In fact, as many as 69% of
people who are depressed have physical symptoms.

How many people are experiencing body soreness and pain
because of depression? Depression affects about 18% of the
US population, or about 40 million people, according to the
National Institute of Mental Health. If 69% of these people
are experiencing pain, then that means that up to 27.6 million
people in the US experiences physical pain related to

Scientists have found that common symptoms of depression
include chronic back pain, joint pain, limb pain,  
gastrointestinal problems, feeling tired, having sleep
disturbances, psychomotor activity changes, and appetite

Depression's ability to cause body aches proves once again
the power of the mind-body connection. Depression and
physical pain share the same neurological  pathway. Both
these conditions are expressions of what doctors call the  
"dysregulation" of chemicals that control both pain and
depresssion, called neurotransmitters.

When something causes you pain,  serotonin and
norepinephrine respond to regulate your body's response.
These are the same chemicals which control your mood. As
the study found "When a patient with depression complains
that he or she is feeling physical pain, there may be a
chemical reason."

What are the  top medical causes of body soreness? We have
culled a list of the most common causes, based on studies:

An Underactive Thyroid Can Cause Body Aches

Hypothyroidism can cause the following aches and pains,
according to the
Mayo Clinic:

  • Joint pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Swelling of the joints of your hands and feet
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Treatment for hypothyroidism involves taking medication to
boost levels of your thyroid hormones.

Depression Can Make Your Body Ache

As we have seen, depression can cause body soreness and
aches.  Though the root cause of the body pain is depression,
the pain is very real.  

Massage and warm compresses can help relieve general body
pain related to depression. Other studies have found that
cherries can relieve muscle soreness.

The National Mental Health Institute lists yoga, acupuncture
and massage as three effective treatments for depression-
related body pain.

The treatment for depression depends on the severity of the
depression. Clinical depression is a serious and potentially
fatal illness that requires medical intervention. Prescription
drugs alone or in combination with cognitive behavioral
therapy may be required.

In many cases of depression, exercise is also effective both in
helping to lift the depression as well as resolving body pains.
This may seem counterintuitive, especially if you have back
pain or joint pain, but moderate exercise can in fact help.

Stress Can Cause Generalized Aching

Stress and anxiety can cause body soreness. Studies have
found that certain foods help relieve stress and stress
disorders including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon,
sardines, tuna, halibut, walnuts and flax seeds should be a
regular part of your weekly diet if you are under stress.

A 2016 study led by Dr. Sherman Bigornia of the University of
Massachusetts at Lowell discovered that there is a direct
relationship between the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in
your diet and your risk for depression. The more omega-3
fatty acids, the lower the risk for depression.

Aim to include 2 to 3 servings of fatty fish and a daily handful
of walnuts or flax seeds in your diet.

As well as including foods that help relieve depression, you
should also avpid foods that have been found to trigger
depression. The biggest culprit here is sugar. Avoid adding
sugar to your drinks and avoid refined carbohydrates such as
white bread, white pasta or white rice.

The Flu ---A Common Cause of Body Aches

Influenza is the classic cause of general body aches.
However, if you have the flu, it would be hard to overlook the
other obvious symptoms of fever,

Lupus --- An Overlooked Cause of Body Aches in Men

Lupus can cause morning joint stiffness and general body
aches, conditions that often can be helped by a warm
shower, according to
Johns Hopkins University.

Lyme Disease Makes Your Body Ache

Lyme disease, caused by bites from deer ticks, causes a pain
that migrate around your body, from knees to shoulders,
back and elsewhere.

Fibromyalgia Can Give You Body Aches

Generalized aches and pains, without an obvious cause, are
symptoms of fibromyalgia.  Doctors are unsure of both the
cause of fibromyalgia as well as a treatment plan for the
condition. Some even question its existence and often, when
fibromyalgia leads to disability, sufferers are denied disability
benefits by the Social Security Administration, because of the
risk of fraud. But fibromyalgia is a real condition which
causes real suffering. A small, 2009  study from
found that the low cost drug, naltrexone, was
effective in relieving fibromyalgia pain in 10 women studied.

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Eating cherries can help relieve
muscle soreness, studies show.