joint pain menopause

Menopause Joint Pain: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Written and Reviewed by Dr. Uzma Qureshi
Published on: 14/05/2024

Joint pain is one of the major 34 symptoms of menopause transitions. You may be in the middle of your busy office routine and feel a wave of pain in your knee or wrist. Joint pain menopause not only disturbs your daily activities but also impacts the quality of your life. You may not enjoy the social gatherings or functions. If all of these situations sound familiar to you, then do not worry, as you are not alone. 50% of women experience menopause joint pain.

You have landed in the right place if you are suffering from these symptoms. In this blog, you will learn what joint pain during menopause feels like. Moreover, explore easy strategies to relieve these menopause aches and pains and enjoy a better transition. 

What is Menopause Joint Pain?

Menopause joint pain
Image By Freepik

Women are more likely to experience joint and muscular pains as compared to men. And when it comes to the menopause transition, 50% of women complain about it.

During menopause, when your oestrogen levels fluctuate, your muscle mass decreases and your bones become weaker. Age is another process that causes these weakened bones and lean muscles to contribute to weakness and pain. 

Furthermore, oestrogen controls inflammation in your body. When there is less oestrogen running in your blood, it is easier for joints to get swollen and sore. The swollen joints and their linings cause discomfort throughout the day or at any time, disturbing your daily activities. BMI, work status, depression and mood changes are also thought to be linked with menopause joint pain. 

What are the Causes of Joint Pain in Menopause?

There may not be a direct physical link between joint pain and menopause, but they go side by side. The possible causes of joint pain in menopause can stem from several factors, such as:

  • Fluctuating hormones – A decrease in oestrogen causes swelling in your joints
  • Ageing – Advancing age influences your aching joints during menopause.
  • Weaker bones- Weaker and unhealthy bones cause stress, and this results in menopausal joint pain
  • Weight gain: Hormonal fluctuations cause fat to be stored in your abdominal region, which results in weight gain
  • Compromised nutrition– Compromising your nutrition and do not take adequate doses of calcium and vitamin D can negatively affect your bone health.

What are the Joint Aches Menopause Symptoms?

While dealing with a variety of physical and mental changes, you may become confused about whether a particular pain is a joint pain or one of the symptoms of menopause. To remove this confusion, here are a few joint aches menopause symptoms:

  • Pain to touch.
  • Swelling around the joint.
  • Reduced range of motion.
  • Pain when you move the joint
  • Popping or cracking sound with movement. 
  • Soreness in the neck, wrists, shoulders, and knees. 
  • Severe pain after any strenuous activity.
  • There is stiffness and discomfort when you wake up, but it gets better after performing your daily activities.

How to Treat Menopause Joint Pain?

Sore joint menopause can be difficult to manage at times. You may experience anxiety or depression as a result of your lower quality of life during this period. However, as per the researchers, the best way to treat joint pain during menopause is to keep moving.

middle aged woman exercising
Image By Freepik

Here Are a Few Ways to Treat Menopause Joint Pain:

  • Exercise daily – Exercise your muscles and bones daily. It will improve your joint health, making them less sore and painful. 
  • Eat anti-swelling food – Prefer eating anti-inflammatory foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, salmon, and olive oil.
  • Maintain your weight – Follow the menopause diet plan to lose weight and Shed the extra pounds
  • Take supplements – Add omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, chondroitin, and vitamin D to your diet. Before using these supplements, you should always talk to your doctor. 
  • Medications – Medications should be taken after consulting a healthcare professional related to your aching joints during menopause.
  • Get physical therapy sessions- Regular therapy sessions help you enhance mobility, alleviate discomfort, and improve your overall quality of life.
  • Opt for HRT- If the natural remedies and OTC drugs are not relieving your joint pain in menopause, then you may opt for hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Use the PRICE protocol
    • Protect from any further injury or overactivity
    • Rest: Allow your injured and painful joints some time to heal.
    • Ice: Apply icing for 10–15 minutes over the swollen joint.
    • Compression: To reduce swelling and pain, you can wear a compression bandage on the joint.
    • Elevate: Try raising your joint from your body level.

Summary: Menopause Joint Pain Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Dealing with joint pain during menopause can be tiring. Hormonal changes, ageing, weak bones, weight gain, and an unhealthy diet cause these aches and pains. Signs of joint pain may include swelling, decreased range of movement, and stiffness. 

Maintaining daily physical activities, a balanced diet, and a healthy weight are important ways to treat menopause aches and pains. Consider physical therapy sessions and OTC medications if natural remedies do not help. Hormone replacement therapy is another option, but consulting your doctor about it would be best. Patients, stay optimistic and seek support from your family and healthcare provider.

FAQs About Menopause and Joint pain

Will joint pain menopause go away?

Yes, menopause aches and pains can go away by taking a few OTC medications, maintaining your physical activities and diet, and reducing your weight.

How long does menopause joint pain last?

The duration varies. Most women experience menopause joint pain for a few months, while some have it for years. It typically improves when hormone levels stabilise

When should I see a doctor for joint pain menopause?

See a doctor if you have persistent joint pain that worsens with movement or if you experience fever and fatigue along with severe joint pain during menopause.

What causes joint pain in a 50 year old woman?

Joint pain in a 50 years old woman could be due to menopause, arthritis, past injuries, or a sedentary lifestyle. Seeing a doctor can help identify the cause. 

Does menopause cause hip and knee pain?

Hormonal changes during menopause can cause joint pain, including in the hip and knee. 

Can menopause make you feel like you have arthritis?

Yes, menopause can make you feel like you have arthritis. Hormonal changes can cause joint pain and stiffness, similar to arthritis symptoms.

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