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Can Menopause Make Your Body Ache

Switch To Low Impact Exercise

Leg problems during menopause & how to ease them

Hips, knees, hands, shoulders, and fingers are among the most affected by menopausal joint pain. High-impact activities like running, playing tennis, or high-intensity interval training can make the pain in these areas worse. If youre accustomed to activities like these that may be worsening your joint pain, consider switching to low-impact exercises. For instance, stationary biking, walking, using the elliptical, swimming, or yoga. ;

Certain yoga poses may help relieve joint pain. Read our guide to the best poses for joint pain. If you take a class, arrive a few minutes early and let the instructor know about your concerns so s/he can help you make adjustments to place less stress on painful joints.

Staying active is a good idea, regardless, as it comes with many health benefits. If youre overweight or know that you have underlying osteoarthritis, getting regular exercise can be especially beneficial as excess weight can add extra stress to your joints.

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.

How Does Menopause Affect Bone Health

The older a person is, the greater their risk of;osteoporosis. A persons risk becomes even greater when they go through menopause. When your estrogen level decreases during menopause, you lose more bone than your body can replace. This makes your bones weaker and more likely to break. To keep your bones strong, its important to get enough calcium and;vitamin;D in your diet. These help your body absorb calcium. Your doctor can suggest ways to get more calcium through food, drink, and, possibly, a calcium supplement. They may also suggest that you take a vitamin D supplement to help your body process calcium. Ask your doctor what amount of daily calcium and vitamin D is right for you.

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Get More Flexible With Foam Rollers

Getting flexible as you get older and exercising with a foam roller doesnt take a lot of time. It does take a little discipline. Consistency is your best friend. The benefits are less tension, more comfort in movement and enhanced performance. Youll feel like doing more and being more active. You may just prevent injury from happening and enhance recovery if you have one.Debra Atkinson shows you how to use the foam roller below.

What Causes Aches And Pains Around Menopause

The most important nutrient you need in menopause and ...

Theres a lot of change during perimenopause and getting more aches and pains is often something women notice. It could just be that youre getting a bit older and perhaps not moving your body enough. Sometimes its hormonal changes or it could be something else entirely. It helps to understand more about what may be going on to help identify the right remedies for menopause aches and pains.

Estrogen has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, so as it drops, if were not finding other ways to reduce inflammation, this may be one reason why we start to experience aches, pains and stiffness around menopause.

If we put on weight, as often happens in midlife and around menopause, we can increase the strain on our joints which can cause pain. If were not eating the right diet, eating too many inflammatory foods and not enough anti-inflammatory foods, that can also lead to problems.

If youre highly stressed and producing too much cortisol, that is also associated with inflammation and can contribute to distracting our adrenal glands from their important role of producing the estrogen post menopause that is needed for healthy joints .

It could also be that were not staying hydrated enough, especially if hormonal changes are leading us to dehydrate, such as hot flashes and night sweats for example. Estrogen has a role to play in keeping us hydrated so we need to put more effort into that as it decreases.

When it comes to pain we may experience the following:

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Does Hrt Stop Joint Pain

Some doctors may prescribe hormone replacement therapy to manage menopausal joint pain. While data suggests HRT can help to mitigate some symptoms of musculoskeletal pain, it remains unclear if these effects are long-lasting . Your doctor will be able to best advise you on what is the best option for you.If you would like more information on the symptoms of the menopause, along with techniques to manage them, browse the resources on our Menopause hub.


  • WattF. Musculoskeletal pain and menopause.Post Reproductive Health.2018;24:34-43.

  • Cicuttini. SC, Guthrie.J, DennersteinL. The relationship of reports of aches and joint pains to the menopausal transition: a longitudinal study. Climacteric.2008;11:55-62.


    Prieto-AlhambraD. et al., Incidence and risk factors for clinically diagnosed knee, hip and hand osteoarthritis: influences of age, gender and osteoarthritis affecting other joints. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.2013;73:1659-1664.

  • . Menopause. Available online:

  • WattF. Musculoskeletal pain and menopause.Post Reproductive Health.2018;24:34-43.

  • MaglianoM. Menopausal arthralgia: Fact or fiction. Maturitas.2010;67:29-33.

  • Hassett. A.L., ClauwD.J., The role of stress in rheumatic diseases. Arthritis research & therapy.2010;12:123.

  • VainionpaaA. et al., Effect of impact exercise and its intensity on bone geometry at weight-bearing tibia and femur. Bone.2007 ;40:604-611.

  • Hot Flashes During Perimenopause

    Most women don’t expect to have hot flashes until;, so it can be a big surprise when they show up earlier, during perimenopause. Hot flashes sometimes called hot flushes and given the scientific name of vasomotor symptoms are the most commonly reported symptom of perimenopause. They’re also a regular feature of sudden menopause due to surgery or treatment with certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs.

    Hot flashes tend to come on rapidly and can last from one to five minutes. They range in severity from a fleeting sense of warmth to a feeling of being consumed by fire “from the inside out.” A major hot flash can induce facial and upper-body flushing, sweating, chills, and sometimes confusion. Having one of these at an inconvenient time can be quite disconcerting. Hot flash frequency varies widely. Some women have a few over the course of a week; others may experience 10 or more in the daytime, plus some at night.

    Most American women have hot flashes around the time of menopause, but studies of other cultures suggest this experience is not universal. Far fewer Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian women report having hot flashes. In Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, women appear not to have any at all. These differences may reflect cultural variations in perceptions, semantics, and lifestyle factors, such as diet.

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    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    • Do my symptoms indicate that I might be going through menopause?
    • My menstrual cycle is irregular. Could it be caused by something other than menopause?
    • Im uncomfortable and/or dont feel well. Is there a way to safely treat my symptoms?
    • Ive heard that soy products or herbal supplements may help. Are these effective? Are they good options for me?
    • Am I a candidate for;hormone;replacement therapy?
    • What are the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy?
    • Am I at risk for heart disease or;osteoporosis?
    • Do I need any tests, such as bone density screening?
    • Now that Im going through menopause, what changes, if any, should I make to my;diet;and exercise?

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

    Joint Pain: What’s causing it & tips to ease it. Joint Pain Month

    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.

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    What To Do To Receive Menopause Muscle Pain Relief

    If a woman has entered the age of climacteric changes and has menopause muscle and joint pain, she needs to take the following steps to achieve menopause muscle pain relief:

    • Examination of a gynecologist once a year.
    • Consultation of the endocrinologist with the study of hormonal levels once a year.
    • Ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs.
    • Mammography.
    • Densitometry .
    • Determination of biochemical markers of bone resorption and bone formation.

    A menopausal patient suffering from menopause joint muscle pain should also inevitably:

    • improve the spring function of the feet and reduce the load on the joints of the legs and spine, use orthopedic insoles or make individual insoles to gain menopause muscle pain relief.
    • undergo treatment aimed at relieving pain, including analgesics, therapeutic droppers, blockades, physiotherapy, acupuncture, hirudotherapy. If on the basis of the examination, osteoporosis is diagnosed, hormone replacement therapy is prescribed.
    • lead an active lifestyle with obligatory morning exercises: one can walk more, go Nordic walking, swim, and go to the gym.
    • eat foods that contain Calcium and Vitamin D, sodium, and protein. During menopause, 1000 mg of Calcium and 600 IU of Vitamin D are needed to be consumed daily, with food or with supplements.

    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.

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    Managing Muscle Pain And Spasms During Menopause

    Dr Michelle Griffin

    Do you feel like you ache often and certainly more than you used to? Youre not alone. Many women experience muscle aches and even spasms during their menopause journey. While there are many potential reasons for this, there are a few common culprits.;Weve got some exercises and tips to prevent painful cramps.

    Find what you need quickly

    Breast Pain In Menopause

    Muscle Tension and the Menopause: Aches and Pains  Become

    The breast pain menopause sometimes brings with it happens when hormonal fluctuations cause fluid to build up in the breasts, making them swollen, tender and painful.

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    Its the same thing women with PMS experience in the lead up to their period, but it can become more marked in peri-menopause because your hormonal shifts become more dramatic. Your breasts may also change in size or shape around this time.

    You shouldnt experience breast pain after youve stopped having periods completely, but it sometimes continues in women who take HRT.

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    Is Menopause Joint Pain The Same As Arthritis

    There are two main arthritic conditions: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and the onset of both of these conditions can coincide with menopause.

    Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition also known as ‘wear and tear’ arthritis. It typically starts with one or two joints, and the large weight-bearing ones such as the hips and knees are usually the first to become painful as the proactive cartilage wears away and is not replaced as fast as it is worn away.

    Wear and tear is a natural part of ageing so most people will experience this to some degree. However, cartilage degeneration can be exacerbated or caused by other factors such as our genes, multiple pregnancies, poor diet, obesity, injury and overuse. For example, this tends to be the case for athletes such as runners who are over-using weight-bearing joints, or for those whose jobs involve repetitive bending, heavy lifting and standing for long periods of time.

    Osteoarthritis can be confused with menopause joint pain, due to it commonly occurring as people reach midlife, the same time that women are often starting to go through menopause. While joints can become less lubricated and flexible during menopause, often, as your hormones begin to balance out after menopause, your joint pain can begin to lessen. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint, which can worsen overtime.

    Muscle Tension And The Menopause: Aches And Pains

    Along with joint pain, muscle tension is a common symptom as many women approach menopause. You might feel that your body feels tight, or your muscles are particularly tender. Taking some time to practise self care on a regular basis can really help to keep any aches and pains you may be experiencing at bay. Here are some tips to help with this.

    So why does the Menopause cause muscle tension?

    As we get a bit older, its normal to experience some muscle tension. But if youre between the ages of 45-55 it may be that the menopause is to blame. Because your hormones are in a state of flux, as the levels of oestrogen and progesterone begin to change, this also has impact on cortisol levels. This hormonal imbalance can cause muscles in the body to tighten and become fatigued.

    Is Menopausal muscle tension linked to anxiety?

    Muscle tension is closely related to anxiety, because when we feel anxious, all of our muscles tense up. This is the bodys natural reaction to stress, as it closes in on itself to guard against pain and injury. We know that going through the menopause is a stressful time and seeing all the changes in our bodies can make us particularly anxious. If youre finding youre very stressed a lot of the time, the body will be in a constant state of guardedness and this can contribute to tightness in the back and neck, tension headaches, muscles pains and even muscle spasms. ;

    What can help to relieve muscle tension?

    Other tips to tackle muscle tension :

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    Why Do Aches And Pains Happen During The Menopause

    Falling oestrogen levels cause big changes in the overall lubrication of your body. Dry skin, vaginal dryness, itchy eyes, and even mood swings are all a function of fluctuating and decreasing hormone levels. Sore joints are no different. As oestrogen levels fall and change, your joints and ligaments and tendons become less lubricated. This can lead to stiffness and pain. You might also notice redness, inflammation and swelling near some joints.

    The menopause also causes your bone density to deteriorate and can lead to arthritis or osteoporosis – both of which can cause tremendous joint pain. If you have a family history of osteoporosis or know that you are at risk of developing it, speak to your doctor so that you can make a plan to handle it. Similarly, if your range of motion and inflammation in your joints becomes severely limited, see your doctor.

    Exercise Tips For Staying Active

    Can menopause cause aching legs?

    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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