Joint pain can occur in both men and women but women are more frequently and severely affected than men. Women experience hormonal fluctuation so they are more vulnerable to joint pains . Also women are physiologically less equipped to deal with pain may be because they produce less ‘Endorphins’- The natural pain killers.
Apart from Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis other causes of joint pain in women includes SLE, Scleroderma, Gout, Fibromyalgia , Multiple sclerosis, etc. The body habitus of women may be responsible for increased incidence of osteoarthritis in women than men.
Women are also more prone to osteoporosis because of hormonal fluctuations and post menopause; which may lead to multiple joint pain. These joint pains can be debilitating as they reduce mobility and flexibility. The hormone estrogen has an important impact over maintaining joint and bone health. As one reaches menopause or even after hysterectomy and oophorectomy ; the estrogen level drops- this give rise to joint pain.
Joint pain can affect quality of life severely. There are certain ways which may provide relief for these symptoms.
- Regular Exercises– ‘Motion is the solution’. Keep joints flexible as it leads to decrease in joint pain. Some exercises such as yoga and swimming are beneficial for strengthening muscles and joints .Also exercises dedicated to a specific joint is very useful. The main aim should be to strengthen muscles around joint to offload bones and decrease intensity of pain.
- Balanced Diet – Having a balanced diet not only relieves joint pain but also refraind you from becoming Excess weight causes more pressure over joints. Add broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale or cauliflower to your salad . Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation and reduce joint pain.
- Adequate intake of calcium and Vitamin D – Calcium and vitamin D are important as they keep your bones strong and healthy. For calcium to be absorbed into your bloodstream effectively, it is important to also have an adequate level of vitamin D whose only source is Sunlight.
- Destress- If you are too much stressed you will experience more joint pain as If you are experiencing a lot of stress, your body will release high quantities of the hormone cortisol. This hormone works as an inflammatory agent which triggers joint pain. So be Happy !!!
- Hormone Replacement Therapy– We must educate women about the need of hormone replacement therapy as these reduce postmenopausal symptoms and joint pain. These drugs not only prevent osteoporosis and joint pain but also protective against various cancer like breast and endometrium. Many newer drugs like calcitonin and Parathyroid hormone can be started in indicated patients to get relief from joint pain.
Women are the greatest treasure of our society so we must protect them!