Menopause

Easing Joint Pain on Menopause

Menopause can be an uncomfortable journey for many women, causing a host of side effects that range from mood fluctuations to full-on hot flashes. But don’t think you’ve heard it all – joint pain is also commonly experienced by midlife ladies making their way through this life transition.

Joint pain can be an unwelcome addition to a woman’s already complicated menopausal journey. Aches, stiffness and swelling in the joints often accompany shifts in hormones that come with midlife. It’s no wonder we women have so much on our minds during this time.

Why do we get joint pain from menopause?

As hormones begin to fluctuate during perimenopause, women experience an increase in joint inflammation and pain due the decrease of estrogen levels. This can lead to a higher risk for osteoporosis – caused by reduced bone mass making bones weaker and more fragile. Menopausal ladies need extra support through this change, both physically and mentally.

How many women typically experience joint pain?

Menopause-related joint aches are particularly common, and in one recent survey, they were experienced by almost 40% of women aged between 45 and 65.

Easing menopause joint pain

The good news is, there are both medical and non-medical forms of pain management that are proven to significantly reduce menopause joint pain. This can start with simple routines in the home.

Home treatments include:

Gentle stretching exercises.
Using ice packs on sore areas.
Using hot water bottles on sore areas.
Having hot baths.
Practising relaxation techniques and mindfulness.

Diet for menopause joint pain

Eating the right foods can improve a range of menopause symptoms. The key is to consume lots of nutrients from various food groups.The foods that most directly impact joint and bone health include:

Dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt) – contain calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins D and K.
Oily and tinned fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel) contain vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, and tinned fish with bones are high in calcium.
Richly coloured fruits and green leafy vegetables (cherries, blueberries, kale) – contain vitamin C.
Animal and non-animal protein (chicken, egg, beans),
These are the things you can think about to prevent joint pain linked to declining oestrogen:
DRINK. Be sure to drink lots of water so you stay hydrated, especially if you’re suffering hot flushes or night sweats. Aim for 2litres each day. 
MOVE MORE.  Make a splash by getting your joints in motion! From whirling around the kitchen to strolling through nature, there’s no better way to get those muscles moving than with tried-and-true activities like pilates, yoga or swimming. With these low impact options you can keep healthy even while staying cozy on the sofa.
HRT. Consider the benefits of HRT because it replaces low oestrogen, often joint symptoms will ease in a matter of days. Talk to your GP or health practitioner to talk it through.
EAT WELL. Feeling the effects of menopause symptoms? Give your diet a vibrant twist! Add rich, leafy greens for all their nutritious benefits. Consider adding in Omega 3 too-it can be found in sources such as oily fish and walnuts or through supplements. While Evening Primrose Oil may help some people, research results are inconclusive so always talk to your doctor before trying it out!.
MAGNESIUM. It turns out our grandmothers were right! Epsom salts, which contain magnesium, can really help ease the aching and they have the added benefit of helping you relax and get off to sleep too!
Magnesium is not a one-size-fits all supplement. With different forms providing varying benefits, it’s essential to get the right advice for your specific needs – and that starts by having an informed chat with your local health food shop staff or nutritionist! Plus, should you be looking at Magnesium Citrate as relief from constipation – great choice…but watch out because this form of magnesium can also impact regularity in other ways too.
HOT AND COLD. Try using a heat pack if your joints are stiff, and an ice pack if they are swollen. It’s fine to switch from one to the other. Both of these can help to relieve the symptoms.
THERAPY. Some people have reported good results with Acupuncture, this can be done by some GP’s, your physiotherapist or an acupuncturist.
What we eat and how we move can make a huge difference to how we feel during our midlife years. Rather than stopping exercise because of painful joints, in fact, daily movement becomes a MUST but it is important that the exercise and movement is aimed at the right level.

Final word

Menopause is anything but a time to feel ashamed or alone. Instead, gaze upon it as your chance for renewal and vitality – like that of the blooming flowers come every second springtime.
With so much on our plates caring for children, parents, general upkeep of life…it’s no wonder we often lose sight ourselves; yet in order to really embrace this part of our lives with strength and energy intensively needed elsewhere within those busy days — we owe it to ourselves take some “me” moments without having any guilt over doing so. So let us step into menopausal maturity knowing there are plenty more adventures ahead.

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