Heat It Up Or Cool It Down
Not sure whether to use heat or ice for your joint pain? Both are inexpensive and easy ways to ease pain but help in different ways.
Heat, such as heating pads or warm baths, tends to work best for stiffness. It can help improve the flexibility of tendons and ligaments which can ease stiff joints, as well as relax and soothe tired muscles.
Cold therapies such as ice packs can help to numb nerve endings, dulling pain and restricting blood vessels, slowing circulation and reducing swelling.
The Effects Of Menopause On The Body
Estrogen and progesterone are the primary female hormones related to reproduction. When ovarian function declines with age, ovulation doesnt occur regularly. This leads to irregular or missed periods.
Eventually, the ovaries stop ovulating altogether, and periods stop completely. This results in lower levels of estrogen and progesterone production by your ovaries.
Youve officially entered menopause when you have 12 missed periods in a row. This natural life stage typically starts around your mid-40s to mid-50s and can last for several years.
While menopause means you wont have any more periods and can no longer get pregnant, the decrease in estrogen also has several other effects on the body.
While your period may have been changing over the last several years during perimenopause, you dont technically hit menopause until your monthly period has stopped completely. This means your body stops producing eggs for fertilization.
Without the shedding of an unfertilized egg every month, theres no more menstruation.
Menopause can also affect other parts of the reproductive system. When youre no longer going through monthly cycles, you may not have any thickening of cervical mucus toward the middle of your cycle, a symptom that often signifies ovulation.
Overall vaginal dryness and a lack of libido can also occur with menopause, but these dont have to be permanent. An over-the-counter lubricant can help.
Increased Sensitivity To Pain
Sleeping poorly is notorious during menopause and research has proved that sleep deprivation increases our sensitivity to pain: a study from the University of California found that sleep deprivation can change the circuitry in the brain in ways that amplify pain.3
Low magnesium can also impact your pain perception,4 as well as causing sleeping problems. Poor levels of this essential nutrient are very common during menopause due to stress and digestive weakness.
Magnesium is also needed to keep your muscles relaxed, so low levels can cause them to tense up and become tight and stiff, which can impact the muscles that the control movement of the joints.
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Can I Get Pregnant If I Have Gone Through Menopause
No, you cant get pregnant after menopause because ovulation is no longer occurring. Once you have gone 12 months without a period, you are considered to have reached menopause.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Menopause is a natural and normal part of the aging process. Once you are in menopause, you have gone 12 months without a menstrual period. It is common to experience symptoms like vaginal dryness and hot flashes. Be open with your healthcare provider about the symptoms youre experiencing and how they impact your quality of life. They can recommend treatments to manage your symptoms and make you more comfortable.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/05/2021.
How Does Menopause Affect Iron Levels In My Blood
If you are still having periods as you go through menopause, you may continue to be at risk of a low iron level. This is especially true if your bleeding is heavy or you spot between periods. This can lead to anemia. Talk with your doctor about the amount of iron thats right for you. Good sources of iron include spinach, beans, and meat. Your doctor may also suggest that you take an iron supplement.
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Supplements For Menopause Joint Pain
Theres some scientific evidence that plant-based oestrogen helps reduce menopause symptoms, including joint pain. Its found in soy products. However, the safety, quality and purity of plant-based oestrogen products are not always known. Its best to speak with your doctor before taking them, especially given that they should not be used if you have had certain medical problems, such as breast cancer. Other natural supplements that are sometimes tried include wild yam, evening primrose oil and vitamin E. Again, studies havent shown that these work nor proven that they are safe. Its always best to speak with your doctor before taking complementary therapies for menopause symptoms.
Musculoskeletal Pain During The Menopausal Transition: A Systematic Review And Meta
1Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xian, Shanxi 710032, China
2Departments of Urinary Surgery, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xian, Shanxi 710032, China
3Department of Thoracic Surgery, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xian, Shanxi 710038, China
4Department of Neurobiology and Collaborative Innovation Center for Brain Science, School of Basic Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xian, Shanxi 710032, China
5Department of Out-Patient, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xian, Shaanxi 710032, China
Although MSP is one of the salient symptoms that occur during menopausal phases , its prevalence varies among midlife women at different menopausal states, especially in the transition between the perimenopausal and postmenopausal states. In some studies, it was reported that the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain reached the peak at the early postmenopause state , while MSP prevalence was reported to increase along the perimenopause phase . While in another study encompassing large middle-aged women, a significant salience in the MSP prevalence was observed especially in peri- and postmenopausal women, and the MSP was significantly associated with menopausal state .
2.1. Search and Selection of Relevant Studies
2.2. Data Extraction and Quality Assessment
2.3. Data Analysis
3.5. Publication Bias
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What Does Menopause Joint Pain Feel Like
Any of your joints can be affected, from little joints such as fingers and toes, right up to the major joints such as hips and knees.
Feeling achy, stiff and creaky and sometimes experiencing a burning feeling around the joints are typical symptoms of menopausal joint pain. These may be worse in the morning, improving as the day continues. While pain can be localised to individual joints or a few joints, many women also describe a feeling of aching all over.
This is a bit of an unusual and surprising one but women have also reported instances where old injuries from childhood or more recently have been known to ache again. For example, a previously broken wrist feeling tender again or whiplash from a mild car crash 5 years ago returning.
So if a specific area is feeling tender, it is worthwhile thinking back to previous injuries or any instances of mild trauma which might have occurred to that area.
Sleeping On Your Side
Place a pillow under your head to ensure that your neck is well supported and roughly parallel with the mattress. Lie on your chosen side with knees slightly bent and a pillow placed between them. This again relieves pressure on the lower back. To prevent cramps and pins and needles, lay your lower arm out straight. For the upper arm, place a pillow next to your tummy and rest your hand on top of it. This prevents stress on the shoulder joint by keeping the arm slightly raised. And yes, you may need to buy more pillows.
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When Does Menopause Occur
Menopause occurs between 45 and 55 years of age for almost all women, with an average age of 51. Menopause that happens between the ages of 40 and 45 is known as early menopause and the menopause that happens before the age of 40 is called premature menopause.
Around 1 % of Australian women possess spontaneous premature menopause. Premature menopause may also take place if your ovaries are removed surgically, or in case you have certain kinds of chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer problems that can harm your ovaries. At times when dealing with these cases menopause occurs suddenly instead of slowly and steadily which can be upsetting for those who have not prepared themselves.Criteria associated with early and premature menopause include: being a smoker
- Family history
- Metabolic disorders
Are There Herbal Remedies To Help Me
Since muscle pain is commonly due to hormonal imbalance, a supplement which can naturally balance oestrogen such as soya isoflavones is ideal. Check out our Menopause Support supplement for more information on how soya isoflavones can help during menopause.
One herb which is known to be a good pain reliever is Arnica. Made from extracts of freshly harvested Arnica, Atrogel® Arnica gel can help to ease muscular aches, pains and stiffness. Research has found the Atrogel® is just as effective as a topical painkiller such as ibuprofen gel and has no interactions with any medicines you might be taking.
Other studies have found that herbal Arnica decreased pain measurements by 50% compared to 43% from using other medications. Arnica can also be used to manage bruises, strains and sprains.
Merfort I. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheikd 2003 10 : 45-48.Knusel O et al. AtrogMed-Gel bei rheumatischen Beschewerden am Bewegungsapparat. Sonderdruck Aus Ars Medici 13 2006: 1-3.
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Can Menopause Cause Depression
Your body goes through a lot of changes during menopause. There are extreme shifts in your hormone levels, you may not sleep well because of hot flashes and you may experience mood swings. Anxiety and fear could also be at play during this time. All of these factors can lead to depression.
If you experience any of the symptoms of depression, talk to your healthcare provider. During your conversation, your provider will tell you about different types of treatment and check to make sure there isnt another medical condition causing your depression. Thyroid problems can sometimes be the cause of depression.
What You Can Do
Dr. Anna Barbieri, MD
Pro tip #2
Progressive muscle relaxation is a great way to relieve stress, relax the body, and decrease/manage pain. The best part? You can do it anywhere! All it entails is tensing each muscle group for 10 seconds, then releasing. We suggest starting at the top of your body before moving down to your mouth, jaw, ears, right & left hand, lower & upper arm, back, stomach, etc.
Dr. Anna Barbieri, MD
Pro tip #3
Looking for more relief from aches & pains? Consider capsaicin cream, which is applied topically and works by decreasing natural substances in your body that help pass pain signals to the brain. You can find this cream at any drugstore. Pro trivia tip: capsaicin is a chemical compound first isolated from chili peppers,
Were all about equipping you with the know-how to understand your symptoms, and we especially emphasize the specific, tangible ways to manage them. Our goal is to empower YOU to take charge of your menopause journey, starting today.
A quick note about product recommendationsElektra Health is not paid to feature any products. We just like them and think you might too, though we cant guarantee any results.
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Treatments For Muscle Tension And Pain
With the onset of muscle tension and pain, menopausal women are confronted with the decision of seeking medication. While taking medicine could be the immediate option to relieve the tension and pain, there is need for menopausal women to be cautious as they go out to seek medication. Be keen on medication that will lead to side effects later on in life. It is safer to begin with normal lifestyle changes that promote healthy leaving.
What About Conventional Medicines
Over-the counter pain relievers such as paracetamol or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like aspirin or ibuprofen can be used to provide short-term relief to mild or moderate muscle pain. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these over-the-counter pain relievers have no interactions with any medicines you might be taking.
If your pain is severe, and over-the-counter pain relievers, as well as home and herbal remedies are ineffective, it is important to consult your doctor.
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Mood Swings And Depression
Studies indicate that mood swings are more common during perimenopause, when hormonal fluctuations are most erratic, than during the postmenopausal years, when ovarian hormones stabilize at a low level. No direct link between mood and diminished estrogen has been proved, but it is possible that mood changes result when hormonal shifts disrupt the established patterns of a woman’s life. These changes can be stressful and may bring on “the blues.” Mood swings can mean laughing one minute and crying the next, and feeling anxious or depressed. These changes are transient, however, and do not usually meet the criteria for a diagnosis of clinical depression, a more profound dysfunctional emotional state.
Over their lifespan, women have more depression than men. But there is no evidence that decreased estrogen alone causes clinical depression. Although women who have had previous episodes of depression may be vulnerable to a recurrence during perimenopause, menopause in and of itself does not cause clinical depression. The incidence of depression in postmenopausal women is not any higher than at any other time in life.
Ease Midlife Joint Pain Naturally
Joint pain is one of the most commonly reported symptoms of menopausal women, especially in the hand, hips, spine, knee, and shoulder. In fact, menopausal women between the ages of 45 and 55 experience the greatest amount of joint pain, as compared to premenopausal women.
As you can imagine, having painful joints can make it difficult to engage in and enjoy all of the activities you may be used to, let alone be as mobile as you may like. The good news is that there are things you can try at home that may help alleviate the discomfort of joint pain during and following menopause.
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How To Treat Menopause Pain With Medication
If you feel that the natural remedies discussed above are not going to help you as much as youd like, you can try over the counter medication such as Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is effective in reducing inflammation in joints and helps to reduce inflammation associated with back pain. You may also consider taking a pain-killer such as paracetamol if you are in a great deal of discomfort. It is best to see your GP for help regarding any menopause treatment.
Your doctor may discuss balancing your hormones with HRT to help with the aches and pains of the menopause and other symptoms.
Can I Have An Orgasm After Menopause
Yes, you can still have an orgasm after menopause. An orgasm may feel hard to achieve once you have reached menopause, but there is no physical reason to prevent you from having an orgasm. Using lubricants and increasing foreplay can help with discomfort. Try to be open with your partner about your feelings and talk to them about what feels good.
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How Does Menopause Affect Heart Health
People are more likely to develop heart disease after menopause. Lower estrogen levels may be part of the cause. It also could be that other health issues that are more common as people get older. These include gaining weight, becoming less active, and developing high blood pressure or diabetes. You can reduce your risk of these health problems by eating a variety of healthy, nutrient-rich foods. It also helps to stay active and maintain an appropriate weight.
Should You Worry About It
Often times abdominal pain does not indicate a serious condition. Since your ovaries are in the abdominal region, the pain could be coming from something else. Keep in mind that gastrointestinal ailments such as food poisoning, a stomach virus, or irritable bowel syndrome can cause abdominal pain and cramping. They can even pop up after eating certain foods or when under stress.
If you are still in the perimenopausal stage, treat cramps as you would during any period while they taper off. Over-the-counter pain meds such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help. A heating pad or hot water bottle can soothe discomfort. Sometimes walking or other exercises can relieve discomfort along with easing stress which can make cramps worse.
Keep in mind that taking estrogen to ease menopausal symptoms and a family history of ovarian or uterine cancer are risk factors for you. Other things to consider are getting your period before age 12, cessation of periods after age 52, and the use of an IUD for birth control. Discuss any of these risk factors with your doctor.
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Menopause Leg Swelling And Varicose Veins Check In On Your Diet
The arteries, veins and capillaries which carry blood around your body contain valves, ensuring that the blood flows in the right direction. Falling oestrogen levels during the menopause can cause these valves and the walls of these blood vessels to lose strength.
This results in blood collecting in certain areas, creating a rippled, misshapen and discoloured effect under the skin known as varicose veins.
Over time, these areas may become swollen and enlarged, contributing greatly to menopause leg pain. Surgery may be your only option if you want to remove these veins, but focusing on fuelling your body with the right foods can minimise the risk of menopause swollen legs and varicose veins appearing.
Both omega-3 and vitamin C help to support the integrity of blood vessel walls and normal circulation. Foods rich in omega-3 include:
- Oily fish
Actions Taken To Reduce Joint Pain
There are various ways available that one can use to deal with the joint pains. However, it is necessary to identify the level and determine the most appropriate means of treatment.
For joint pains that relate to a reduction in oestrogen levels, it is advisable to pick on hormone replacement therapy . The physicians use synthetic oestrogen and increase the declining levels in the body.
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Causes Of Pain During Menopause
The climacteric period is a grandiose restructuring of the female body. The gradual shutdown of the function of childbearing is accompanied by changes in all organs and systems. This is manifested by unusual and sometimes not the most pleasant sensations, including the pain of different localization, strength, and duration .
The root cause of all types of pain with menopause is a sharp change in hormonal status. The decrease, and then the cessation of secretion of estrogen and progesterone, is reflected not only in the state and functions of the reproductive system. Sex hormone cells are present in various tissues and organs. Therefore, estrogen deficiency during and after menopause leads to changes in the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine systems, affects metabolism, the emotional and psychological sphere, etc. With menopause women are most often concerned about abdominal pain, lower back pain, perineum, headaches, menopause muscle pain, and bone pains. They are quite intense and often reduce the quality of life, especially if combined with other symptoms of the change.