How To Relieve Menopause Aches And Pains In 12 Simple Steps.
When I first started going through the menopause I had no clue what to expect. I suffered from acute migraines associated with the menopause for six years before I realised that it I was perimenopausal. Had I realised why I felt so horrendous all the time I could have taken measures to get help sooner, and not had to suffer in silence. After a while, I started suffering from menopause aches and pains and again did not realise that these were the symptoms of the menopause and I became increasingly worried they may be something more serious. In this post, I will discuss the common menopause aches and pains that I wish I had known about prior to starting the menopause!
⠀Many of the symptoms of the menopause and perimenopause
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What is the menopause?
The menopause is when a woman’s periods stop and they are no longer able to naturally get pregnant.
Menopause happens due to hormonal changes and when oestrogen levels decline. Most women experience the menopause around the age of 45 to 55 with most women reaching the menopause at 51. However, it is important to note that the menopause can start at any age and can last for many years.
What are the common menopause symptoms?
Hot flashes or flushes
Feeling faint or dizzy
Dry skin and acne
Feelings of being overwhelmed
I started going through the menopause at 40 years old and I have been going through the menopause now for roughly 10 years, I have suffered from almost all of these symptoms at some point. Some of the symptoms have come and gone, and some of the symptoms have stayed for the full 10 years. Each individual is entirely different and everyone’s symptoms will differ.
What are menopausal aches, pains and joint pain?
As hormone levels such as Oestrogen and progesterone decline during the menopause,
Oestrogen helps to reduce inflammation, therefore as the levels of Oestrogen decline, chronic inflammation such as bone, joint and muscle aches may increase.
As the body’s production of hormones decreases it can be quite common for pain to increase in areas like the knees, elbows, ankle joints, shoulders, neck and some women may experience severe breast pain. Many women also report increased signs of perimenopausal back pain.
The intensity of the joint pain varies from individual to individual but with a few simple lifestyle changes we can significantly reduce the menopause aches and pains.
Migraines can be very severe around the menopause and we will discuss how to manage them later on in this post.
How to relieve menopause aches and pains naturally
- Take a hot bath regularly.
Taking hot baths will not relieve joint pain and back pain permanently, but it is an effective way to get some temporary relief from menopause aches and pains. What better way to treat yourself than a nice hot bubble filled
bathand some candlelight!
I also found a hot bath to be a great help when dealing with a menopause migraine. By simply laying down face up with my head and neck partly submerged in the water brought soothing relief to searing migraine pain.
- Use a hot water bottle.
Hot water bottles can be effective for back pain and can provide temporary comfort after a hard day dealing with menopause aches and pains! For more self-care ideas you can practice at home, read this post!
Menopause joint pain fatigue can often be overwhelming and
make everyday simple tasks unbearable,
this can be frustrating and confusing for anyone who is used to being active and hard working. Stretching every morning and evening for ten minutes greatly improved the joint pain in my ankles, back and neck. It helped to reduce the joint stiffness in the mornings and also relieved the menopause aches and pains at night.
- Mindfulness and meditation.
Many women don’t expect to suffer from pain with menopause and it can be quite frightening when it suddenly hits them from out of the blue. M
indfulnessand meditation help to combat insomnia and stress associated with the menopause.
To read more about how to practice meditation read this post
- Exercise regularly.
Menopausal pain is one of the least talked about of all the menopause symptoms. M
enopausebody aches are often worse first thing in the morning easing slightly as the day goes on.
Swimming and cycling are a great way to get regular exercise and to reduce joint pains, this is because they are non-weight
bearing exercises and are much kinder to the joints than running.
- Have a healthy diet and eat well.
Following a healthy diet is very important to stay well during the menopause. It helps you get the correct vitamins an minerals you need to boost your health. Magnesium, zinc and calcium rich
foods are all critical to eat during the menopause to help us stay well and manage the menopause aches and pains.
- Take frequent rests.
If you are struggling to complete everyday tasks like housework or you work in a manual job which sees you standing for many hours it is important to take frequents rests throughout the day and to take a break in between heavy tasks.
- Book yourself in for a massage.
massagemay not solve all your menopause aches and pains but it is a great way to start giving yourself some self-care which is so important when you are struggling with all the other menopause symptoms too, it’s a great way to de-stress and recharge!
- Practice some self care at home.
Enjoy some time to yourself and try to look after your needs. It’s easy to still soldier on, looking after everyone else and putting yourself last. but it is very important to remember to take care of your self too. For some simple self-care tips you can follow at home in just a few minutes, read this post.
- Get a good nights sleep
This may not be easy, as insomnia and night sweats are common in menopause, but getting plenty of rest will help you fell rested and less tense which will help with muscle aches and pains.
- Make sure your bra is fitting correctly.
Some back and neck pain can be caused by a badly fitting bra. Many women gain weight during the menopause and go up a few cup sizes. Get a professional bra fitting to reduce the risk of aches caused by an ill-fitting bra!
Yoga can help build core strength which in turn will help to alleviate any back pain and aching joints associated with the menopause.
- Maintain a healthy weight
Keeping your body mass index within the recommended centile for your height will help put less pressure on your weight bearing joints such as hips ankles and knees.
How to treat menopause pain with medication.
If you feel that the natural remedies discussed above are not going to help you as much as you’d like, you can try over the counter medication such as Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is effective in reducing inflammation in joints and helps to reduce inflammation associated with back pain. You may also consider taking a pain-killer such as paracetamol if you are in a great deal of discomfort. It is best to see your GP for help regarding any menopause treatment.
Your doctor may discuss balancing your hormones with HRT to help with the aches and pains of the menopause and other symptoms.
Menopause migraine pain
Migraine is another pain associated with the menopause and it can quickly render you incapable of functioning effectively. You may feel you need to lie down in a dark room until it passes, but this is not always possible if you have a small family to look after or if you are working. If you think you are suffering from migraines associated with the menopause or perimenopause you should consult your doctor, he may provide you with medication to try to relieve the symptoms, or in some cases try to prevent the onset of a menopausal migraine.
It took several years for my doctor to give me medication in the form of Sumatriptan tablets which were effective in reducing my migraine symptoms to make them bearable. Thankfully now I have reached the menopause my migraines have stopped for the moment and I’m hoping they never return!
Frequently asked Q&A
Menopause and joint pain can come hand in hand. M
Aches and pains can be a sign of the menopause if presented with other menopausal or perimenopausal symptoms. H
Symptoms of the menopause differ from person to person with most symptoms lasting up to 10 years after the last period. However, it is difficult to differentiate between the menopausal aches and pains and
general aches and pains which come with ageing. If you are in any doubt at all please consult your GP.
It is very common to feel extreme fatigue during the menopause and perimenopause, this is caused by the fluctuation in hormones.
Joint pain and menopause symptoms often come hand in hand, leaving us struggling to deal with many symptoms all at the same time, this can lead to feelings of overwhelming sadness and fatigue.
There is no harm in trying all the above suggestions to help give yourself some temporary relief from the menopause aches and pains, however to fully understand which is the correct remedy for you it is always best to seek medical advice before trying anything else.
Muscles contain oestrogen receptors and these become weaker due to the higher levels of cortisol and lower oestrogen levels. This causes muscle pain and chronic fatigue.
The menopause its self is not painful but some symptoms of the menopause such as breast tenderness, migraines caused
Painful joints in menopause are very common, menopause and joint pain come hand in hand with many women suffering for years. consult your doctor to discuss whether your painful joints are a symptom of the menopause.
There are many natural remedies on the market which promise relief from menopause symptoms such as black cosh, evening primrose,
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For more information on the symptoms of the menopause, go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/
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