August 21, 2012

(Guestpost)

Along with a wide range of side effects, such as weight gain and stiff muscles, joint pain from menopause is an all too common issue. Most menopausal women will report experiencing this issue. The connection between joint pain and menopause is the same connection between menopause and other symptoms: fluctuating hormones.

Why?
As a woman's body enters menopause, her natural hormones will become unstable and imbalanced. Today's scientists point the finger to these fluctuating hormones as the reason behind most side effects during the menopause days. The hormones estrogen and progesterone in particular, are biggies when it comes to this issue. Many researchers also believe that decreased estrogen plays a big role in increased inflammation, which can easily enhance pain in the joints.

Symptoms
Menopause will take place once a woman stops ovulating and her periods end. This usually occurs around the ages of 45 to 55, with 50 being the average. Hot flashes, night sweats, urinary problems and so on are just a few issues relating to menopause. Weakness in the muscles, as well as joint pain and changes in weight can all stem from the same event as well.

Joint Pain. Though menopause itself does not pose any serious health risks, the chance of osteoporosis (or the thinning of bones due to inability of the body to create or produce bone tissues), can be increased after menopause has set in. Most women, during menopause will notice discomfort in the shoulders, hips and other joins. This is typically felt during the perimenopause stage. Joints that were once flexible, may now become painful and stiff.

Possible Treatments
Painful joints due to menopause may be treated in order to help relieve said pain. Here are a few measures that some women take in order to do just that:

Gentle Exercise and Stretching: Gentle working out and stretching of the muscles and joints is a great way of combating this health issue. Many women will even take yoga and pilates classes in order to help soothe any painful or stiff joints.
Menopause Supplements: Some supplements may also provide natural relief. Certain types of supplements may maintain joint health, such as omega 3 fatty acids and proanthocyanadins.
Herbs: Another great way to relieve joint pain in the long run, is to turn to herbal remedies. Here are just a few natural herbs to help you combat the pain:
Tumeric: This is an effective spice that has long been used for inflammation and chronic pain.
Boswellia: This Indian herb is extracted from the frankinscense tree, which luckily, causes no side effects. It acts quickly to relieve pain in the joints. The key ingredient in it is also the boswellic acid, which is great at decreasing inflammation responses.
Ginger: Ginger is wonderful when it comes to painful symptoms regarding the joints. Another plus is that it can also help to soothe a painful stomach (nausea is another common menopausal symptom).
Cayenne: Believe it or not, cayenne pepper can work to soothe pained joints. It's a natural painkiller because its main compound causes the body to produce pain killing agents.


Other Causes
Other causes for painful joints during menopause can include weight gain, which is an all too common factor in menopausal women. That being said, too much weight put on the joints can increase the pressure on them, and thus the pain. Also, not exercising or working out can do cause increased weight as well. Plus, along without exercise, this means you're not using your muscles or joints, so these joints and easily become sore and stiff. Poor posture is yet another cause for painful joints. Last but not least to consider, are emotional factors during menopause, such as depression, lack of energy, and fatigue, all of which can lead up to physical issues such as weight gain, and simply not moving around enough.

There are also a number of medications that can be taken in order to help out with joint pain associated with menopause. That being said, sometimes the most effective steps are those that can be used in everyday life to help out with painful joints.

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