menopause joint pain

Aching joints, menopausal bursitis, frozen shoulder, and menopausal hip pain are all physical symptoms that can happen when someone is experiencing menopause, and it can be hard to know what steps you should take in order to mitigate and control these problems.

In this guide, we’ll review some of the causes of joint pain during menopause, how to treat menopausal joint pain, and provide an FAQ to try and help answer any general questions you may have while navigating menopause and perimenopause.

Causes of Joint Pain During Menopause

As your menstrual cycle ends, your body will go through a series of changes. Women may experience sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and a variety of menopausal symptoms like joint pain.

Some of the causes of joint pain during menopause can include:

  • Hormonal Changes: The decrease of estrogen levels in your body during menopause can lead to changes in joint health. Estrogen plays a large role in maintaining joint function,  decreasing inflammation, and increasing joint lubrication.
  • Loss of Bone Density: Menopause is associated with a decline in bone density, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis.Inflammation: Hormonal fluctuations during menopause can trigger inflammation of the joints, leading to pain and discomfort and can contribute to worsening of osteoarthritis.
  • Weight Gain: Some women experience weight fluctuations during menopause. This can put pressure on the joints, exacerbating joint pain, especially in areas such as the knees and the hips.

Treatments for Joint Pain During Menopause

While there is no way to avoid the potential joint problems that occur during menopause, there are ways to mitigate them. Here are some strategies you may want to implement in order to reduce pain:

  • Menopause Hormone Therapy (MHT): Some women opt to undergo hormonal replacement therapy in order to replenish the estrogen levels in their body while experiencing menopause. It is essential that you discuss the risks and benefits of MHT with your doctor before undergoing treatment, as it may affect you differently than other women, since this is not an FDA approved indication for MHT.
  • Regular Exercise: Strengthening the muscles around joints is a great way to mitigate the pain you’re experiencing from inflammation. Low-impact workouts like yoga, walking, swimming, and cycling are all great choices for women experiencing menopause. Women should also be including weight bearing activity for bone health.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Maintaining a balanced diet while you’re experiencing menopause can help reduce the amount of pressure on your joints. The knees and hips are particularly vulnerable to weight-related joint pain, so doing your best to eat a healthy, well-rounded diet can help alleviate some of the pressure placed on them.
  • Hot & Cold Therapy: Ice packs and heating pads are both great ways to reduce inflammation in parts of the body where you’re experiencing pain. Alternating between the two can possibly bring relief to particularly bothersome spots. Epsom salt baths are also a great way to reduce inflammation while relaxing at the same time.
  • Over-the-Counter Pain Medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help provide some relief from joint pain. However, it is important to discuss the effects of long-term use of NSAIDs with your doctor, as prolonged consumption of NSAIDs can lead to health problems down the road.
  • Natural Supplements: Supplements like omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, turmeric, ginger, and Vitamin D can all potentially help reduce inflammation and control joint pain. Most of these are readily available at your local grocery store in the supplements aisle.

Commonly Asked Questions About Menopause

While it’s best to consult your care provider when it comes to any questions you have about your health while experiencing menopause, here are some answers to questions that are commonly asked by women who are experiencing it

  • When should I see a doctor for menopausal joint pain? If your joint pain is severe enough to interfere with your daily life, it is important that you consult a healthcare specialist. They can help with proper diagnosis and recommend what steps to take towards treatment.
  • Is menopausal joint pain permanent?: Every woman is different when it comes to how they experience menopausal symptoms. Some women experience temporary pain, while others have persistent problems that last longer than the time it usually takes for menopause to run its course. It’s essential that you consult with your care provider if you are experiencing symptoms that are severely affecting your quality of life.
  • Can diet affect joint pain during menopause?: Diet can play a large role in how you experience joint pain while going through menopause. Foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can all help reduce inflammation. A proper diet will also help with weight fluctuation during menopause.
  • Are there any natural remedies for joint pain during menopause?: Some women find that dietary supplements like those mentioned above, massage, and acupuncture can all help alleviate joint pain. Your experience may differ from others, but talking to your doctor about potentially taking advantage of these treatments could provide relief.
  • Can menopausal joint pain lead to other health issues?: While joint pain itself is not a serious health issue, if left untreated it could lead to mobility issues down the road. Joint pain may also be a symptom of osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease that can worsen over time and will require further treatment. It is important that you do not ignore your symptoms of joint pain and stay in communication with your healthcare provider if your joint problems worsen.

Advantia Health can Help You With Menopausal Joint Pain

If you are experiencing menopausal joint pain and are looking for answers, Advantia Health can help guide you toward gaining relief. We’re doing our best to revolutionize the way that women’s healthcare works, and our team of expert healthcare providers will work with you to get the comprehensive individual care that you need in order to mitigate your pain.

Please refer to our services page to see all of the different areas in which we can help you live a healthier, happier life as you take the next step in your journey.

Advantia Health is here to provide women with empathetic, quality care, and we’d love to help you on your health journey whatever your needs may be.

Concerns or questions? Do not hesitate to reach out to one of our women’s health providers.