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HomePopularAre Muscle Aches A Symptom Of Menopause

Are Muscle Aches A Symptom Of Menopause

When To Get Help For Your Joint Pain

Menopause aches and pains & how to ease them

If youre not getting relief, the pain worsens, or you have other symptoms such as swelling, redness, rashes, fever, fatigue, dry eyes and mouth, or painful urination, you should see your doctor. There are other causes of joint pain that can be more serious than a drop in estrogen, such as Lupus, Lyme disease, gout, septic arthritis, gonococcal arthritis, thyroid problems, and rheumatoid arthritis .

Are There Herbal Remedies To Help Muscle Pain

Yes. There are some herbal remedies to help relieve muscle pain. For example, chamomile is an ancient herb used to treat various ailments, including muscle spasms. It contains 36 flavonoids, which are compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, you might massage chamomile essential oil onto affected muscles to provide relief from spasms.

The Complete List Of 35 Symptoms Of Menopause

Some symptoms ofmenopause can occur years before a woman experiences her last period, whileothers can last for years afterwards as well. Since hormones vary from onewoman to another, menopause affects all women differently. Some may experiencevery few symptoms while others could experience most of them. Symptoms can alsovary in frequency and severity.

So, what are these symptoms that signal menopause is upon you? Lets talk about all the 35 symptoms of menopause to look out for.

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Muscle & Joint Pain During Menopause: Causes And How To Make It Easier

MenoLabs News | Fri, Dec 24, 2021

When you think of menopause, many of us think about hormone changes, hot flashes, and the absence of a menstruation cycle. While these are all key features that women encounter when experiencing menopause, another often-overlooked symptom is muscle and joint pain.

For most women, this type of pain and discomfort is not only normal but also very common. While its certainly frustrating to deal with, muscle and joint pain during menopause can be managed with the help of a few healthy habits. These tips can help to reduce your pain while also making it easier for you to go about living a comfortable life.

What Causes Muscle and Joint Pain During Menopause?

Muscle and joint pain is a common symptom that many women experience when entering menopause. As frustrating and sometimes even debilitating as it may be, there is one major culprit behind this symptom inflammation.

As hormone levels rise and fall throughout menopause, this flux causes a host of symptoms to run their course . Among these changes, the drop in estrogen levels is the most significant. Since estrogen is an anti-inflammatory hormone, a deficiency can be directly related to muscle and joint pain.

Beyond hormones, other causes for pain symptoms include carrying excess weight, poor diet, smoking, stress, and dehydration.

The Journey to a Pain-Free Lifestyle

1. Eat More Anti-Inflammatory Foods

2. Stay Hydrated

3. Get More Exercise

4. Minimize Your Stress

The Bottom Line

Does Menopause Cause Muscle Weakness

Menopause and joint pain

Yes, menopause causes muscle weakness due to declining estrogen. Menopause has an adverse effect on overall muscle, skeleton, and joints health, linked with osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and Sarcopenia. Sarcopenia includes age-related muscle wasting and loss of muscle function. So when you undergo menopause, you are more likely to suffer weak muscles.

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What Causes Pain And Aching In Joints During The Menopause

Oestrogen helps to keep our cartilages the connective tissue in joints healthy. It also helps with the natural replacement of bone in our body. This means it plays an important role in helping to prevent joint inflammation and pain.

When levels of oestrogen naturally fall during the menopause, this joint protection can sometimes weaken, causing joint aches and stiffness. This joint pain and swelling most often affects the small joints of the hands and feet. However, other joints such as the knees, elbows and neck joints can also be affected, causing stiffness and reduced movement.

Its common to get general aches and pains from normal wear and tear to your joints as you get older. Therefore, joint pain isnt necessarily always due to the menopause even though it may occur at this time.

Read more about unusual symptoms of menopause.

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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Case Study: How Drinking More Water Can Make A Big Difference

Who doesn’t love a success story? I was so pleased with this one, I had to share it…

Since dehydration can have such a big impact on your joints, one of the first things I often recommend to menopausal woman who are feeling achy and sore is to drink more water. This is exactly what happened when Margaret asked my advice on joint pain during menopause.

Sleeping On Your Back

Muslce and Joint Pain – Symptom Series

Place a pillow under the folds of your knees so that your knees are at a level slightly higher than your pelvis. This position reduces the pressure on the lower back. Increased pressure on the lower back can lead to pain and disc degeneration which can interfere with sleep as well as cause daytime discomfort.

Read Also: Estrogen Dizziness

Menopause And Chronic Pain November 13 2015

Some women in menopause suffer with generalized achy muscles, bones and joints. Menopausal women have a number of reasons to have aches and pains, says Dr. Nathan Wei, The Arthritis Treatment Center, based in Frederick, Maryland, which was named one of the top 10 private arthritis research centers in the country by Rheumatology Research International. The first is osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis after the age of forty which is a disease of cartilage that affects weight-bearing joints.

Dr. Nathan Wei

The cause of menopause related pain is usually multi-factorial, says Dr. Angela DeRosa, DO, MBA, CPE, founder of DeRosa Medical with offices in Scottsdale, Glendale, Chandler, and Sedona, Arizona. Estradiol deficiency causes decrease in collagen structure and joint health which causes increase in joint pain. Women struggle with sleep which does not allow for proper rest and restoration of the body at night. Estrogen deficiency also makes the vagina dry and uncomfortable which leads to painful sex.

Dr. Landherr

Testosterone deficiency causes joint pain, muscle atrophy and pain as well as increase in firing from pain fibers, says Dr. DeRosa. Testosterone deficiency also causes weight gain which puts more stress on the body.

Dr. Angela DeRosa, founder of DeRosa Medical

The best exercise recommendations are stretching exercises and yoga and/or Pilates which aid in core strength and balance, says Dr. DeRosa. Walking is always good for the body.

Exercise Tips For Staying Active

Keeping active can help reduce body aches and tone muscles, making you less susceptible to injury. If you find that aching knees make running, dancing, or brisk walking difficult, try using knee sleeves. They provide compression, which can help keep active knees comfortable. They also make injury less likely. You can also forgo the running track for the pool. Swimming is an easy-on-the-body alternative and may help you get your mind off of any pain you are feeling.

Other ways to reduce pain can include deep muscle massage, acupuncture, heat or cold application, and hypnosis. If you smoke, or have other habits which adversely affect your health, work on eliminating them. This may increase feelings of vigor, improve circulation, and reduce stress, which may all help to reduce pain.

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Menopause And Knee Cartilage Degeneration Leading To Knee Joint Pain

A study has found that menopause is associated with knee cartilage degeneration, which can lead to knee joint pain. The study looked at 860 healthy women and analyzed 5,160 cartilage surfaces. Cartilage deterioration was examined using MRI scans.

After accounting for age, weight, and height, postmenopausal women were found to have greater cartilage deterioration than perimenopausal women.

The study suggests that menopause is associated with cartilage deterioration which is then associated with joint pain. Cartilage deterioration seemed to excel after menopause. Additional research is required to better understand the relationship between menopause and cartilage deterioration.

Symptoms Of Joint Pain

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Other causes of joint pain, such as injury or certain types of arthritis, can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Swelling of the joint
  • Stiffness of the joint after long periods of rest

Joint pain symptoms will depend on the particular cause of the pain experienced, but the typical symptoms of joint pain related to menopause include stiffness, swelling, and warmth in the joints. Limited morning stiffness, exacerbation of pain with exercise, and relief from pain with rest are also common symptoms in women who suffer from joint pain.

  • Tumors

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Menopause Leg Cramps It Could Be A Magnesium Deficiency

Muscle cramps before bed can be a nightmare, and they can appear as a result of the menopause process. This can also manifest itself as pins and needles.

As with RLS, menopause leg cramps often point towards a magnesium deficiency. Crucial for muscle relaxation, many menopausal women lack this important nutrient falling oestrogen levels can affect how efficiently our bodies take it up.

As well as being implicated in leg cramps, a lack of magnesium can be linked to digestive troubles.

Hormonal fluctuations can also cause the stress hormone cortisol to increase, with the added tension adding to the potential for muscle cramps. This anxiety is not only bad news for your lower extremities, of course stress leaves our stomach in knots and can result in digestive problems.

So, as well as keeping your stress levels in check, consider incorporating some of these high-in-magnesium foods

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Meat
  • Dairy products.

For these menopause leg cramps, the application of a magnesium spray can also provide some short-term relief. A nice, warm bath or shower can also sooth the muscles.

Why Does The Menopause Cause Muscle Pain

The hormonal imbalance as you approach menopause is the most common reason for muscle aches and pains. During peri-menopause your hormones begin to fluctuate radically before they fall and remain low as you go through menopause and afterwards. The imbalance of oestrogen and progesterone are the main cause here.

Firstly, oestrogen regulates the production of cortisol in the body. This is known as the stress hormone and when oestrogen is low, your cortisol levels rise, which can cause you to become more stressed and anxious, two symptoms which are very common in the menopause. High levels of cortisol can then cause your muscles to tense up and become painful. Increased levels of cortisol in the body are also known to make you more sensitive to pain, causing you to feel muscle and body aches and pains more easily.

Falling oestrogen can also affect the uptake and utilisation of magnesium, and magnesium is vital for proper muscle function and muscle relaxation. Therefore, low magnesium can cause muscles aches and pains, muscle fatigue and muscle cramps.

Next, is progesterone. This hormone helps to keep your body nice and relaxed. As progesterone levels fluctuate and drop prior to and during menopause, you may experience more muscle tension and pain.

Low iron levels in the body can also cause muscle pain. The pain results from a lack of oxygen in the muscles. You can ask your doctor to check your iron levels to rule this out.

Read Also: Causes Of Hot Flashes Besides Menopause

What Are The Symptoms Of Menopause

The menopause side effects and symptoms can begin to affect a woman years before menopause actually begins. This period of time is known as perimenopause and is defined by the hormonal changes that occur as the body transitions into menopause. During this time, the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen and progesterone and, in some cases, affect levels of testosterone as well.

Diminishing levels of sex hormones can lead to the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause, including poor sleep, low energy, weight gain, low libido and mood swings. These are a just a few of the symptoms. Experts have defined a list of 34 menopausal symptoms that may affect a woman as she approaches menopause. Not all women will experience every symptom. The good news is that if you are experiencing distress and discomfort due to any one of these menopausal symptoms, there are effective treatment options available.

Can Menopause Cause Joint Pain

How To Relieve Menopause Muscle Pain

While aches and pains and joint stiffness are all inevitable as we age, as women approach menopause, typically between the age of 45 and 55, many are often surprised to discover that joint pain is one of the most common symptoms, alongside hot flushes, night sweats, period changes and mood swings.

The average age for menopause is between 45 and 55, so it is little wonder why many women put their aches and pains down to aging.

Joints which are involved in high impact movements such as the hips and knees tend to be most affected. The elbows, neck, shoulders, hands and fingers can also be affected by joint pain.

There are a number of causes of joint pain during menopause including:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Poor posture
  • Increased sensitivity to pain.

Below, I take a closer look at each of these causes and recommend ways to help prevent and treat joint pain during menopause.

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How Can The Menopause Cause Joints And Muscles To Hurt

Falling oestrogen levels can affect the hydration of the joints, ligaments and tendons and this in turn can affect the joints in several ways. It can cause:

  • Joint pain and inflammation.
  • Joint stiffness and loss of range of movement sometimes this is most obvious when you get up and this eases as you start to move about.
  • Creaking joints when you bend your knees or flex your fingers.
  • Change of posture this is really quite an important point and often ignored! If your joints, ligaments and tendons are affected this can alter your whole posture, pulling on your muscles and causing both joint and muscle aches at the same time. This can happen to any group of muscles but mainly the back, shoulders and hips. Muscle changes in the shoulders can also trigger tension headaches or migraines. There is also the theory that strained muscles in the back or change of spinal alignment could lead to hot flushes, so if both of these symptoms started around the same time they may be connected!
  • Change of posture in the neck and shoulders may affect the support of the breast muscles too, causing breast ache.
  • Falling oestrogen levels can contribute to in some women and this in turn will put more pressure on the joints.
  • Falling oestrogen levels , causing osteoporosis which will affect posture as well.
  • and can dehydrate you really quickly, so this could be a major contributory factor to your joint pain!

Whats Happening When You Experience Joint Pain

Though the precise cause-and-effect of menopause and joint pain hasnt yet been established, theres evidence that there is one. Pain, swelling, and inflammation in the joints is often a signal of osteoarthritis , the wearing down of protective tissue between bones. Since OA disproportionately affects women in menopause, it is likely that hormone level changes are at least part of the cause. Beyond hormones, carrying excess weight, leading a sedentary lifestyle, dehydration, poor diet, smoking and stress can all trigger or worsen joint pain.

Because estrogen is a natural anti-inflammatory, one possibility is that when it dips and ebbs, inflammation can take hold more easily. Plus, estrogen regulates fluid levels throughout the body, so just as your skin is drier and less elastic, the tissue of your joints may be, too. Another theory is that estrogen reduces pain perception so when levels decline, youre more sensitive to pain.

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Strengthen Your Muscles & Joints

While exercising is probably the last thing you want to do when your joints feel achy and sore, staying active is very important as it helps to increase the strength and flexibility of your joints, as well as in the muscles that surround the joints. But this doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym!

Good options include:

  • Non weight-bearing exercises
  • Low-impact weight-bearing exercises
  • Resistant, non-impact exercises .

Weight-bearing exercises are thought to help protect our bone mineral density as we age and can also help build muscle, which takes the pressure off your joints.

Try to focus on strengthening the muscles around the hip and knee joints as these are the joints that need to support your entire body weight.

It is also important to always warm-up before any exercise. Our Muscles and Joints advisor Earle Logan has a simple warm-up routine for any type of exercise which you can try.

Also, be aware, high impact exercises such as jogging on hard roads can exacerbate joint pain, although this is often eased with rest or with the use of compression stockings. It’s best to limit exercises which involve lots of pounding on your joints such as running and jumping.

In contrast, low-impact non-weight bearing exercise can be gentler on the joints but still help to build strength and increase the range of movements. Therefore, incorporating flexibility and non-impact, stretch work into your exercise plans is also a good option.

Menopause Leg Swelling And Varicose Veins Check In On Your Diet

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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

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