As women get older they often suffer from joint pain. Although this is a common ailment in both men and women embarking on their golden years, joint pain is also a symptom of menopause that can be eased with proper knowledge and treatment.
As a woman approaches menopause, typically between the ages of 45 and 55, her body goes through drastic hormonal fluctuations that can affect her in many ways. Hormones play a major role in a woman's bone and joint health. When her hormones become imbalanced during menopause she will often experience joint pain. Continue reading to learn more about joint pain, its causes, and the treatment options available.
About Joint Pain
Joint pain, also known as "Arthralgia," is defined as pain, stiffness, or swelling in or around a joint. There are 360 joints in the human body. Joint pain often occurs in joints of high impact, such as the knees, hips, and back, but many women notice the joints in their hands become stiffer and more painful with age.
Types of joints
There are several types of joints in the human body. Below of the joints most commonly associated with joint pain.
• Ball and Socket Joints allow for a wide range of rotation and movement. The shoulder and hip are ball and socket joints.
• Condyloid Joints allow movement but no rotation. There are condyloid joints in the jaw and fingers.
• Gliding Joints allow bones to glide past each other. There are gliding joints in the ankles, wrists and spine.
• Hinge Joints allow for movement much like that of a door hinge. The knee and ulna part of the elbow are hinge joints.
• Pivot Joints allow bones to spin and twist around other bones. There are pivot joints in the neck and the radius part of the elbow.
• Saddle Joints allow for back and forth and side to side motion but limited rotation. There is a saddle joint in the thumb.
Women are 10 times more likely than men to suffer from joint pain in their hands.
Because joint pain is common in women approaching menopause, some have even coined the term "menopausal arthritis" to describe this symptom. It can be an extremely discomforting ailment and make simple tasks and movements almost unbearable. There are common symptoms to help recognize joint pain.
Symptoms of Joint Pain
Other causes of joint pain, such as injury or certain types of arthritis, can lead to the following symptoms:
• Swelling of the joint
• Stiffness of the joint after long periods of rest
The symptoms of joint pain will depend on the particular cause of the pain experienced, but the typical symptoms of joint pain related to menopause include: pain, stiffness, swelling, and warmth in the joints. Limited morning stiffness, exacerbation of pain with exercise, and relief from pain with rest are also common symptoms in women who suffer from joint pain.
Continue reading to learn the cause of joint pain to get a better handle on how to treat the common menopause symptom.
Many women report suffering from joint pain during menopause. This can be a disturbing symptom, altering what you feel, you can and can't do physically. Fortunately, there are many treatments available, such as losing weight to decrease pressure on the joints, using a hot compress, taking painkillers as part of a pain management program or appeal to alternative medicine.
Joint pain often accompanies the trademark menopause symptoms of hot flashes, irregular periods, night sweats and mood swings. Nevertheless, there are many options for treating this difficult symptom. Some treatments include strengthening exercises, low impact sports like swimming, physical therapy, and medication. Treating the hormonal imbalance associated with menopause may solve the problem from the source.
Causes of Joint Pain
Like most menopausal symptoms, joint pain is typically caused by hormonal imbalance. As menopause approaches, a woman's hormones begin to fluctuate, preparing for a permanent decrease in production of the primary hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Although doctors are still unclear exactly how hormones, particularly estrogen, affect joints, most are resigned to the fact that estrogen (specifically a diminished level of estrogen) plays a major role in joint pain during menopause.
Estrogen affects joints by keeping inflammation down. Inflammation is a leading cause of joint pain. As estrogen levels begin to drop during perimenopause, the five-to-10-year time span leading up to menopause, joints get less and less estrogen and pain often is the result.
Joint Pain and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is another symptom of menopause that is related to joint pain. During menopause, the rate of bone loss increases as the amount of estrogen produced by the ovaries drops dramatically. Estrogen levels in postmenopausal women are about one-tenth the levels in pre-menopausal women. Bone loss is most rapid in the first few years after menopause but continues into the postmenopausal years.
There are several causes of joint pain not related to hormones. Below is a list of other factors that can cause joint pain:
• Wear and tear
• Weight, diet
• Lack of exercise
• Muscle loss
• Inflammation of the joint
• Metabolic Disorders
• Bone Diseases
• Tumors and Cancer
When to See a Doctor
Consulting a healthcare professional in early stages of joint pain can go along way in stopping a problem before it grows into a major health concern. Here are some instances when it would be a good idea to see a doctor for joint pain:
• If joint pain lasts for more than three days, moves from the joint the pain started
in to other joints, or worsens.
• If fever accompanies the joint pain.
• If progressive weight loss accompanies the joint pain.
Read below to learn the different treatment options for joint pain to gain relief.
Joint pain can be a huge inconvenience for women who are experiencing the changes of menopause. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat this troublesome symptom. Treatments include using heated compressed to treat the affected area, using an ice pack, and going to regular massage treatments as part of a pain management regime. Alternative treatments have also proven effective.
Many people encounter joint pain as they age, and it is particularly common in menopausal women. One of the best ways to alleviate joint pain is through exercise, but since impact exercises can be painful, swimming is an excellent alternative. This is because it provides aerobic activity without the painful impact.
Treatments for Joint Pain
When exploring treatments for joint pain, it's important to begin with methods that are the least obtrusive, with the least likelihood of side effects and progress from there.
This means that lifestyle changes are the best place to begin. For instance, physical therapy can be incorporated into a person's daily life and can ease joint pain. Walking or simple stretches can help. Even muscle-strengthening exercise can alleviate joint pain. Consulting a doctor or physical therapist is recommended before incorporating a new exercise routine.
Typically, combining lifestyle changes and alternative medicines will produce the best outcome. Alternative medicines can be different herbs and supplements, or even techniques like acupuncture. When seeking out alternative medicines, keep in mind that because joint pain during menopause is associated with hormone deficiency, look for supplements that bring a natural balance to the hormonal levels, for this will go a long way to alleviate joint pain.
Finally, if still experiencing joint pain, there are different drugs and surgeries that can be explored. Drugs are often prescribed simply to cope with joint pain but do not offer a cure. Surgery is an option for extremely severe joint pain. This final option comes with the most risk and side effects.
Click the following link to learn specific treatments for joint pain, which begin with lifestyle changes, move onto alternative medicines, and finally, if those options don't seem to help, drugs and surgery. The most effective treatments for joint pain typically combine lifestyle changes and alternative medicines.
Joint pain is a very common symptom to experience around menopause. This is because the changing levels of hormones, namely estrogen, cause diminished pain tolerance. Joint pain may also indicate a separate, underlying condition such as arthritis or bursitis. Treatments include using a hot compress, using an ice pack to treat muscle pain, and practicing yoga.
People who suffer from joint pain may find relief through eating berries. This is because berries contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamins,
both of which have proven to be beneficial in treating inflammation and pain. Indeed, eating berries may provide the same amount of relief as taking over-the-counter pain medicine. Good choices include blackberries, blueberries and cherries.