Aches and pains

Aching joints are another common symptom of the menopause. They usually occur in the perimenopause stage or during the menopause itself and are caused by fluctuating oestrogen levels in the body.

Causes of aches and pains

Many women assume that these are a sign of growing old but this isn’t the case. They are caused by inflammation or a hormone imbalance such as those experienced during the menopause.

If these are addressed then these symptoms will ease or disappear altogether.

Hormones and joint pain

Oestrogen has anti-inflammatory properties in that it protects the joints against the risk of infection. But once this starts to fall it means that the joints receive lesser amounts which results in pain and inflammation.

The medical name for this is ‘arthralgia’.

If you notice that your joints are painful when you exercise, are stiff and/or swollen or feel warm to the touch then you have menopause related joint pain.

It is important to see your GP about this as soon as possible as it can lead to arthritis if left untreated.

Treating aches and pains

Joint pains can be eased by a few lifestyle changes which include:

  • Healthy diet
  • Exercise (but not to excess)
  • Stretching
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Our menopause self help section contains more information about these forms of treatment.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an effective form of treatment for symptoms of the menopause but be aware that there are risks as well as benefits of this treatment.

Find out more in our menopause treatment section.

Basically, aches and pains are due to hormonal fluctuations during the menopause. They are one of several physical and emotional symptoms of this transition in life which usually ease over time.

But if you are at all worried then speak to your GP.

Women who have followed a healthy diet and exercise regime before and during the menopause appear to be at less risk of aches and pains.

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