45–55 years for a woman is the time of the highest prosperity. This is a time of experience, self-sufficiency, and conscious beauty. Unfortunately, a great age is often overshadowed by the unpleasant manifestations of menopause. Along with the hot flashes, the faithful companion of the change is menopause joint muscle pain.
Causes of Pain During Menopause
The climacteric period is a grandiose restructuring of the female body. The gradual shutdown of the function of childbearing is accompanied by changes in all organs and systems. This is manifested by unusual and sometimes not the most pleasant sensations, including the pain of different localization, strength, and duration (menopause and joint and muscle pain).
The root cause of all types of pain with menopause is a sharp change in hormonal status. The decrease, and then the cessation of secretion of estrogen and progesterone, is reflected not only in the state and functions of the reproductive system. Sex hormone cells are present in various tissues and organs. Therefore, estrogen deficiency during and after menopause leads to changes in the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine systems, affects metabolism, the emotional and psychological sphere, etc. With menopause women are most often concerned about abdominal pain, lower back pain, perineum, headaches, menopause muscle pain, and bone pains. They are quite intense and often reduce the quality of life, especially if combined with other symptoms of the change.
Does Menopause Cause Muscle and Joint Pain?
Often, women after 48 years and older are concerned about joint and muscle pain and menopause. Moreover, the majority indicate that they lead a healthy lifestyle, are deprived of bad habits, and regularly engage in sports. What is the cause of such pain?
Menopause Joint Pain
Complaints of menopause and joint pain are very typical for women who have entered the period of the climacteric changes. In childbearing age, metabolic processes in the connective tissue are regulated by sex hormones. Without estrogen protection, metabolism is impaired. In addition, collagen synthesis is inhibited. All this leads to degenerative processes – arthrosis and osteoarthritis. Sometimes, menopause joint pain is inflammatory in nature. This is also due to a decrease in estrogen production. For such cases, the term “menopausal arthritis” is used.
Manifestations of osteoarthrosis and menopausal arthritis are similar: joint pain, stiffness in the morning, and limitation of mobility. The damage is often symmetrical. If the menopause joint pain intensifies during exercise, this is a sign of osteoarthritis. With menopausal arthritis, movement, on the contrary, reduces discomfort. Osteoporosis also makes itself felt with joint pains. With the onset of menopause, it is noted many times more often than in other age periods.
Menopause Muscle Pain
The decrease and gradual cessation of the secretion of female sex hormones directly affect the state of the muscular system. Dystrophic processes in the muscles lead to their weakness and increased fatigue. The tolerance for physical activity is reduced. Menopause and muscle pain more often occur in women who have not previously been involved in sports. Muscle pain with menopause is diverse. It can dull and sharp, long and short, felt like tingling, aches, etc. Most often, menopause muscle pain occurs in the legs, back, and pelvic area.
Calcium deficiency leads to spasms and cramps of the calf muscles. It is important to know that muscle pain with menopause is not always explained by age-related degenerative processes. Sometimes a disease, such as osteoporosis, becomes the cause of menopause joint muscle pain. Pain in the calf muscles is characteristic of atherosclerosis of the vessels of the lower extremities and thrombophlebitis. Therefore, if the sensations persist for a long time and cause sufficient discomfort, it is recommended to visit the following specialists – a surgeon, rheumatologist, and phlebologist.
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.
- Densitometry (a method for determining the mineral density of bone tissue).
- 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 (HRT) 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.
Is it Possible to Completely Get Rid of Menopause Muscle and Joint Pain?
If joint and muscle pain in menopause is caused by a violation of mineral metabolism, the intake of vitamin-mineral complexes will help fill up the calcium deficiency in bone tissue and thereby eliminate the main factor that causes pain. In general, they say that all methods of dealing with menopause muscle pain should be aimed at solving two main problems – correction of hormonal imbalance and the prevention of osteoporosis.
It has to be added that at the time of menopause, there should be as many positive emotions as possible to reduce menopause joint pain. Positive emotions improve the hormonal background in general, increasing estrogen levels in particular. Thanks to the stimulating effect of positive emotions, the hypothalamus (part of the brain) is activated.
The hypothalamus translates psychic processes into physiological ones, namely, it produces the hormones liberins, which enter the pituitary gland, where female gonadotropic hormones (follicle-stimulating (FSH) and luteinizing (LH) are released under the influence of liberins, under the influence of which the follicle grows and the ovum begins to mature.