Do joint pains symbolize menopause? This is a question that most ladies in their forties and fifties ask themselves. Research shows that at the start of the transition to menopause, joint pains occur along with other symptoms.
About 7 out of 10 women in their menopause stage ignore joint pains and tend to concentrate on other symptoms, yet it is also a significant sign. Joints are critical components in the body, and they require proper care and attention in case of any slight pain.
The Structure of Joints
It is important that we understand the structure of the joints in our bodies. There are muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
- Muscles comprise of tissues of a fibrous nature that pull together and relax to direct bones in the direction that the body goes.
- Tendons attach muscles to the bones and allow their easy movement in the body.
- Ligaments allow bones to attach to other bones so that they drag one another in the movement process.
Causes Of Joint Pain During Menopause
Joint pain is a discomfort that comes from the point where two bones meet. Joint pain is occasionally referred to as arthritis. The pain can either be mild, moderate or severe. Mild pain can be handled domestically.
However, it is recommended that one seeks medical attention in case the pain is severe or moderate. When the joints show signs of swelling, tenderness, deformation, sharp pains, and redness, it is important to look for medical attention.
Such pain makes it difficult to use the joint. Medications prescribed for joint pains include painkillers, treatments that are rubbed into the skin, injections or pills to reduce the pain. In severe occasions, surgery for replacement or fusion of the joints is done.
Relationship Between Menopause and Joint Pain
There is no proven direct relationship between the changes that happen in the body during menopause. However, a decrease in the oestrogen levels affects the bones and the moisturization of joints, tendons, and ligaments.
During menopause, the woman is aging, and other factors may contribute to joint deterioration and other problems related to muscles and joints. For instance, athletes may suffer from joint pain during their menopause stage.
Effects Of These Changes On The Joints
- Increased joint pains and congestion of the blood vessels
- Stiffness of joints and uncoordinated patterns of movement
- Squeaking of joints when one bends
- Change in the body posture- When the tendons, ligaments, and joints are affected, the whole body posture changes. The joints and muscles ache at the same time. This problem mainly affects the shoulders, backs, and hips of the women in the menstrual stage.
- Low levels of oestrogen can lead to weight gain which puts pressure on the joints.
- The reduction in oestrogen levels during menopause affects the density of the bones and can cause osteoporosis that also affects posture.
Importance of Magnesium During Menopause
During menopause, the body has low oestrogen levels which in turn influence the uptake of absorption of magnesium into the body.
The mineral is vital for healthy muscles and proper joint functioning. A decrease in the levels of magnesium in the body causes muscle pains, muscle fatigues, and muscle cramps. Intake of foods rich in magnesium during the menopause period can reduce the joint and muscle pains.
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 (HRT). The physicians use synthetic oestrogen and increase the declining levels in the body.
Natural Measures to Reduce Joint Pain in The Menopause Stage
Taking water- It maintains the hydration levels of the joints. Increased intake of water among the women in their menopause stage makes them hydrated thus reducing the creakiness of their joints.
Weight loss- increased weight places unnecessary stress on the body joints. Obese women improve their mobility when they lose weight and also exercise to help the joints.
Observing proper dietary requirement- Citrus fruits, caffeine, foods with high salt and sugar content and components in the nightshade family trigger problems in the joints. Abstinence and avoidance of such foods can make a huge difference and improve the joints.
Exercise- Pain in the joints discourages one from engaging in activity, but it is important. Exercise strengthens the muscles which support the joints and reduce the likelihood of pain.
The most appropriate exercises to do when one has sore joints include cycling, yoga, and swimming. The choice of exercise depends on the affected joints.
Other Essential Activities That Reduce Joint Pain
- Taking painkillers helps to relieve joint pains
- Reducing activities that trigger joint pain
- Application of an ice pack on the aching area/joint several times in a day for about 20 minutes
- Engaging in low-impact activity such as yoga
Joint pain is one of the symptoms associated with menopause that can be stressing to deal with. However, a keen woman should detect every slight change in her various joints and not underestimate any pain.
Joint pain that is detected at the early stages can be easy to treat and deal with. Joint pains are associated with menopause due to a decrease in the release of oestrogen in the body.
The low oestrogen levels affect magnesium intake which is essential for the joints thus leading to pain in the muscles and particular areas where the bones meet.
It is important for any woman suffering from joint pains to engage in regular exercise as it reduces the extent of pain.
The muscles and ligaments are strengthened and reduce frequent joint pains. Natural measures such as taking a proper diet reduce obesity and improve the nature of the joints.
Regular intake of water hydrates the joints and prevents them from having friction and reduces squeaking. Joint pain is common among women in their menstrual stage, but it can be tackled by taking various measures. In case of severe joint pain, it is important to seek a doctor’s advice on the best solution.