Updated: Feb 4
Are you female, over 40 (ish), and starting to notice a lot more aches and pains in the last few years than ever before? Welcome to hormone related changes in your body.
There is a lot of focus placed on hot flushes during the menopause transition, but what about your joints? Did you know that lower levels of estrogen can also impact joint health?
Estrogen receptors are found all over your body, including your joints, so it makes sense that your joints will be impacted as estrogen declines at midlife.
Estrogen plays an anti-inflammatory role and increases the collagen content of connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, etc). As estrogen levels diminish during the menopause transition, women experience changes in the way these tissues function, potentially leading to pain and injury. At the same time as we are seeing changes in skin elasticity in our face, we are also experiencing changes in the elasticity in the tissues around our joints.
A common concern for women at this time of life can be plantar fasciitis. Pain in one or both feet that can be exacerbated by a sudden increase in usual activity levels, wearing high heels or ill fitting shoes, lack of strength in your feet, etc. Working with a physiotherapist or podiatrist can help to reduce pain and improving foot function. Taking care of your feet is more important now than ever.
Although arthritis can happen to anyone at any age, it is important to note that the incidents of osteoarthritis increase in women during the peri to post-menopause years. If ever there was a time to focus on your bone and joint health it is now.
Joint pain can be one reason women reach out to their menopause trained doctor for help. Menopause Hormone Therapy (MHT) can benefit women experiencing joint pain and many other complaints. Have a chat with your doctor to learn what your options are.
The menopause transition is a big time of change for women, both physically and mentally. Don’t underestimate how many functions estrogen has within your body.
You are not weak or a failure if you need more support during this time of change. Education is key to understanding what taking care of yourself looks like right now.
You may need to change your ideas about:
The type/amount of exercise that you participate in
Mental health support
Menopause doesn’t just happen overnight, there is a slow process of change years before your periods end. Many of the changes are subtle and almost unnoticeable, some more severe. If you are over 40 (sometimes younger too) and you just don’t feel like your old self, get some help. See your doctor, talk about your hormones and educate yourself every day. The more you know, the more you can seek the help that you need. Don’t suffer in silence, you are not alone.
Hi, my name is Melanie Briony and I am a fitness and lifestyle coach with over 10 years experience in the fitness and wellness field. As I reached my late 40's, I began to notice how women my age and older were missing from the conversation when it came to their fitness needs. I was also noticing changes in my own body that I couldn't find answers to which was really frustrating considering all the study I have undertaken over the last decade. Learning about menopause has been really enlightening, how did I not know this about my own body? That is why I am making it my business to bring this information to you from the best research available. Have any questions? Send me a message. Just because you are getting 'older' doesn't mean you have to give up trying. Getting older is inevitable, how you age is 100% your choice. This is the time in your life to really get to know who you are, what you want and how you are going to achieve it. These are the best years of your life, don't waste another minute.