How to Ease Menopausal Muscular pain with care

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Before we get into the depths of muscular pain in menopause, I would like to share the details of a study that I went through recently. It mentioned that postmenopausal women were more susceptible to moderate or severe musculoskeletal pain than those in the premenopausal and perimenopausal stages.

Another survey conducted on women in the 45-65 age group showed that around 40% of women went through joint pains. I have had my share of aches and pains as well since my 40s, and many patients whom I see every day complain of the same.

A lady once mentioned how she was eventually getting less fit since her 40s, with the aches and pains troubling her too often. Muscle pain in menopause isn’t uncommon, but the catch lies in managing it effectively. That’s what we will discuss in the article that follows. Before we proceed, let me introduce myself. I am Dr. Karen Pike, the founder of Simply Menopause. While dealing with patients over the years, I realized how unaware women were about the basics of menopause. I started the website to reach out to women globally through my writings. You can visit the site to read more about me.

Why Do Women Have Muscle Pain In Menopause? 

Low estrogen levels are the main culprit behind the muscle and joint pains that you may experience in menopause. Estrogen maintains the cartilage and other tissues, which are functional in making your joints work well. A decline in the levels of this hormone causes the cartilage and other tissues to get damaged, resulting in inflammation and pain.

Women who predominantly suffer from joint pain when transitioning into menopause or once in menopause have mentioned a sharp shooting and grinding pain, teamed with stiffness and even swelling at times.

7 Tips to Manage and Ease Menopause Muscular Pain 

Here are some useful tips which may help in easing muscular and joint pain. Hope they’ll be of help to you.

Be on the Move 

You will not be able to exercise during moments of intense pain. You shouldn’t do the same as that will worsen your aches and pains. However, being physically active would help prevent or minimize joint pain in the future. Weight training is one of the most effective exercises to build joints and muscles. Start with lighter weights first, then switch to heavier ones when you have adjusted. If you don’t wish for heavier exercises, you could opt for moderate or low-impact ones like swimming, walking, or dancing. This will help you be on the go.

Stretching exercises are also helpful to maintain your bone and muscle health. Some, like the forward bend, low lunge, and neck rolls, are effective in easing your muscles and lessening tension. However, stretch gently, and never exercise when in pain.

Go For Warm and Cold Compresses 

When you are in intense pain, combine warm and cold compresses. Heating pads, hot water bottles, or even warm baths may suffice for hot therapy. In the case of cold therapy, cold water bottles or cooling pads will help. While cold treatment lessens inflammation, hot water treatment improves blood flow and relaxes muscles. Avoid using extreme heat, and never apply ice to your skin directly.

Take Care of Your Diet 

You would have to eat more anti-inflammatory foods, which would help lessen inflammation and minimize your susceptibility to joint pain. If that sounds like jargon, let me explain in simple terms. Some foods help to fight inflammation. Those that top the list include:

  • Leafy greens like kale, collard, and spinach
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts such as walnuts and almonds
  • Fruits like blueberries, oranges, strawberries, and cherries
  • Fatty fish such as sardine, tuna, mackerel, and salmon

Minerals like Vitamin D and magnesium are pivotal in maintaining your bone health. Studies have shown that a deficiency in these minerals leads to swelling and joint pain. Foods rich in Vitamin D include:

  • Egg yolks
  • Salmon
  • Cod liver oil
  • Swordfish
  • Tuna fish
  • Fortified cereals
  • Beet liver

The list of magnesium-rich foods includes:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Nuts (cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts)
  • Tofu
  • Legumes (Lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, beans, and peas)
  • Seeds (Chia seeds, flax, pumpkin)
  • Whole grains (buckwheat, quinoa, barley, oat, wheat)
  • Bananas
  • Leafy greens (collard, kale, mustard green, turnip green, spinach)

When you have chronic joint pains, your doctor may ask you to check your Vitamin D and magnesium levels. He may even recommend supplements if needed.

On the contrary, you should avoid processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, red meat, and foods high in gluten and sodium. They aren’t healthy, and when you have chronic pain, having them would worsen things. Whenever my patients complain of recurring aches and pains, I ask them about their diet and advice to transition to healthy eating.

Keep a Check On Your Weight 

Additional weight increases pressure on your joints and muscles, making you more susceptible to aches and pains. A fellow doctor once mentioned how increased weight eventually causes our joints to wear and tear. He even said weight reduction will help lessen around 35% of the joint and muscle pain symptoms. That’s why exercising on a regular basis is essential.

Resort to Medications 

When troubled with intense muscle and joint aches, pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medications help immensely. However, I always say that you should never self-treat. Talk to the doctor who will help you with the appropriate medication in the correct dosage.

Reduce Stress

Everything is connected. It’s more of a vicious cycle. Menopause often triggers stress in most women. The low estrogen levels result in high cortisol levels, which may elevate up to nine times during stressful episodes. When you are anxious or stressed for long, it tenses your muscles, intensifying pain.

That’s why practicing relaxation techniques and yoga are essential to release stress. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps with a lot of things, from hot flashes to sleep issues and even low mood. You could get a counselor’s or psychologist’s help in this regard.

Give Hormone Therapy a Thought 

Many menopausal women have asked me about the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy for managing their symptoms. That must be your question as well. Right? HRT helps manage a host of menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood problems, sleep issues, etc.

There have been positive reviews of HRT for joint pain. In an online chat session, a woman said how effective HRT was for her joint pain. She noticed the difference in three months from the time she started the therapy. You will reap maximum benefits when choosing the suitable HRT in the perfect dosage. That’s why a doctor’s consultation is mandated.


Muscle aches due to hormonal fluctuations are inevitable. However, when you eat healthy and maintain a good lifestyle, you may manage your symptoms to a greater extent. When chronic pain is troubling you, do not rely on home remedies. Seek medical help immediately to know if there’s any underlying condition behind it.

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