Depression may worsen arthritis symptoms

A study at Seoul University’s Joint Reconstruction Center has revealed that clinical depression can worsen symptoms of knee arthritis beyond what is shown on X-ray scans. Patients with mild to moderate arthritis are most acutely-affected, according to the study.

“The results of this study indicate that depression can play a major role in the way patients experience the symptoms of knee arthritis,” said study author Tae Kyun Kim. “Even when X-rays show the arthritis is not severe, patients with depression may report significant pain…both should be considered by physicians when treating patients with knee osteoarthritis.”

The study examined more than 650 men and women who had the severity of their arthritis determined. Subjects were then interviewed in order to gauge their levels of depression. It was discovered that depressive disorders showed an increase in pain with patients whose X-rays did not indicate significant joint damage.

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