Does Menopause Lead To Joint Pain?

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Does Menopause Lead To Joint Pain

A time comes in a woman’s life when menopause kicks in. She wouldn’t experience her usual menstrual cycle, and some changes that will affect her health will emerge. One of these changes is joint pain, common among women in their 40s and 50s. 

How Severe Is Joint Pain?

Joint pain has been known to make life uncomfortable for its victims. It makes them unable to do several activities and becomes a liability to themselves and their loved ones. It can affect every vital body part that supports mobility, stability, and flexibility.

Understanding Joint Pain During Menopause

Who doesn’t love to walk around, jump, bend, or run easily? Everyone does because when two bones meet, it can cause discomfort and lead to joint pain. The worst part of it is that joint pain can also progress to joint diseases like the following:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Lupus
  • Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
  • Gout
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Septic arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia

However, many factors can make women experience joint pain during menopause. Let’s explore them right away.

Reasons Menopause Can Cause Joint Pain

The following are factors that can trigger joint pain during menopause:

▪️ Excess fat: Certain hormones reduce as we get older. This kind of hormone is common during menopause, and it’s known as estrogen. Estrogen helps to ensure that the body receives the right amount of fat and muscle mass. Unfortunately, estrogen isn’t as potent as it used to be, so it cannot effectively control the level of fat and muscle mass needed in the body. Therefore, more fat will be deposited in your body but less muscle mass. 

This fat can be stored in your abdomen and thighs, and since you don’t have the right muscles to balance them, there will be pressure on your joints. This can affect how you move and even make you weak. If the pain continues without finding a solution, it could be severe and cause further damage to your joints.

▪️ Osteoarthritis: As women get to mid-age, osteoarthritis is bound to happen because the cartilage that protects the ends of bones within the joints reduces or deteriorates, resulting in joint pain, stiffness, and reduced flexibility. Genetics can also cause osteoarthritis if there’s a family history of the joint disease. Women during menopause who are engaged or still engaging in sporting activities can also have osteoarthritis due to injury or constant pressure on the joints.

▪️ Inflammation: When we say inflammation, it shows how your immune system reacts when it notices an injury or infection and provides healing. Concerning an injury, your immune system can send cells for blood clotting to stop the bleeding, and the affected area can be red, swell, pain, or itch. This can protect you from further infection.  

Therefore, when estrogen, which also regulates the immune system, is weak during menopause, there will be higher inflammation during injury or infection, such as increased joint sensitivity. This means during menopause, inflammation will increase, making you feel more joint pain than usual, probably after a simple injury that could stop hurting after a while when you were younger. 

Moreover, this can trigger joint diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis during menopause since your immune system is too weak to fight them. Excess inflammation will also affect the synovium, a thin membrane that helps to lubricate the joints and ease movement. It will thicken due to rheumatoid arthritis or other conditions and result in stiffness and pain due to excess inflammation. 

▪️ Autoimmune Diseases: Although there are few studies to prove that a low estrogen level can make the immune system misbehave, there is still a possibility of it occurring. Since estrogen cannot fully perform its function, like regulating the immune system to fight an intruder in the body system during menopause, the immune system will start malfunctioning. Therefore, the immune system will attack joint tissues like the synovium, increasing inflammation and making it vulnerable to rheumatoid arthritis. 

Conclusion

Experiencing joint pain isn’t a life sentence, so chill out. Now that you have learned several reasons that can cause joint pain in women during menopause, you should consult a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Also, you can consider eating the proper diet, hydration, over-the-counter pain relievers, topical creams, and physical therapy. 

William John, the chief editor of The Cropsite, is a man with expertise in general medicine who is enthusiastic about helping people from all corners of the world through his content writing. William John covers all the things related to general medicine and is a person who can be described as a walking encyclopedia of general health. His years of knowledge of general medicine have made him a proficient person who is skilled in understanding all aspects of a person’s physical health. With this decade of experience in general medicine, William John greatly contributes to creating content such as articles and product reviews that each reader of The CropSite can depend on for being authentic and backed by research.

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