A bad back or aching joints can be really tiring, if you then combine the menopause into the mix, life can feel all too much.
It’s important to understand that aches and pains are a symptom of the menopause and not just old age. As a woman approaches the menopause her body goes through dramatic hormonal changes that can affect her in many ways. Aches and pains are very common, usually worse in the morning and at night. Joints are the most common areas hit in elbows, knees, shoulders and wrists.
Joint pain can be one of the first symptoms a woman can experience with the perimenopause, so often it is not picked up to be a menopausal symptom. This can be a reason that joint pain is misdiagnosed as simply getting old or even arthritis. Getting old is true to a certain degree, as the cartilage that attaches to the end of your bone can get worn, however the lack of oestrogen effects the ligaments around the joint.
So, how do you relieve aches and pains?
Relieving menopausal aches and pains
Step 1 – Exercise
Exercising is really important as we enter the menopause. Taking daily exercise is a must to help maintain healthy joints. This doesn’t have to be much, but would ideally consist of 30 minutes of exercise 5-7 times per week. If you aren’t somebody who normally likes exercises here are some ideas to help get you moving:
- Housework – yes, it’s all exercise, hoovering, cleaning bathrooms or the windows it all counts!
- Yoga or pilates
All the above exercises will be kind on your joints but get your body moving which will all help to alleviate the pain. Also, make sure you stretch. A good 10 minutes stretch at the end of the day or when you wake up can make a big difference.
Step 2 – Take a supplement to ease aches and pains
There are several supplements that can really help ease menopausal aches and pains.
Curcumin, found in turmeric, has the ability to reduce inflammation in the body. It also helps with stiffness, reduces pain and maintains healthy joints by keeping them flexible. Ginger is also known to help stiffness, especially in the mornings, so try taking a curcumin or turmeric supplement on a daily basis.
Ideally the supplement would contain the equivalent to 14,000mg of turmeric. We recommend Nutri Advanced Curcudyn, as it contains 1428mg of turmeric. Another way of getting your turmeric is by drinking flavoured Turmeric tea. It still has the same benefits for your joints, but it can also help with weight loss and digestive problems. It is an acquired taste though so do try and persevere!
Promensil is a supplement containing red clover, which is a herbal extract. Red clover can be a great supplement to take during perimenopause and the menopause as it contains natural plant oestrogen. It can help mimic the natural effects of oestrogen in the body, therefore it helps to combat menopausal aches and pains along with other menopausal symptoms. Red clover also has a positive impact on bone density as well as helping to increase bone formation.
Magnesium can help fight inflammation. You can find magnesium in foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. It can however be difficult to reach the recommended daily amount of 310mg – 420mg so sometimes a supplement may be needed. Nutri Advanced MegaMag Muscleze supports muscle function and it’s also good for recovering if you exercise regularly. Another good magnesium supplement is Solgar Magnesium + B6.
Step 3 –Pain relief
If you are finding that one particular joint is causing you excessive pain, a cold compress or ice pack can help reduce swelling. The Menodelight hot/cold pack can be put in the freezer or in the microwave and when used for 20 minutes can really help to relieve joint pain.
Ibuprofen can also be an effective anti-inflammatory. Make sure you take it on a full stomach as it can damage the stomach lining if taken for too long. The maximum amount of ibuprofen for adults is 800 milligrams per dose or 3200 mg per day (4 maximum doses). Use only the smallest amount needed to get relief from your pain relief.
If you do feel your aches and pains are affecting your day to day life and you are concerned, then it is always worth consulting your GP for more advice.
For more information on joint pain in menopause you may be interested in reading:
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