As women approach menopause (cessation of periods for one year) between the age of 45 to 55 years of age the levels of estrogen hormone in the body decline drastically. This can cause symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, changes in skin and hair texture and joint pains. When joint pains are associated with menopause it is typically called menopausal arthritis. Estrogen hormone is responsible for maintaining the lubrication around joints, tendons, and ligaments. Thus a drop in its level can cause joint pain, inflammation, stiffness, fever and creaky joints. Any of the joints can be affected with this, from little joints such as fingers and toes right up to the major joints such as the hips. The pain may be worse in the morning and improve as the day progresses with swelling around the joints occurring at the end of the day. If the pain is persistent it may cause injuries and weight gain, obesity and heart disease due to a lack of mobility. You should consult your doctor in the early phase of joint pain before it becomes a major health concern. Other measures which can decrease joint pain are having plenty of water which keeps the joints well hydrated.
Certain lifestyle changes like weight reduction avoid extra stress on the weight bearing joints.Having a balanced diet keeps a check on weight along with providing relief from other menopausal symptoms. Vitamin D and calcium supplements keep the bones strong. Exercises like yoga and swimming help to keep the joints strong without putting any pressure on them. Avoid repetitive strain to protect your joints. However, you should always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regime. Apart from these, certain medicines are prescribed to provide relief from joint pain. Surgery is an option for only those with severe joint pains. Thus the most effective way to deal with it is lifestyle modification along with medications.