One of the symptoms of menopause is “joint pain”, which causes symptoms such as joint ringing, finger stiffness, swelling, and numbness. However, caution is required as symptoms may resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. I will explain in detail under the supervision of a doctor.
Table of contents
- Joint pain is one of the symptoms of menopause.
- Causes of joint pain during menopause
- How to test for menopausal joint pain
- Menopausal Joint Pain Treatments
- Should I go to the doctor if I have joint pain during menopause?
- disease with symptoms resembling joint pain due to menopause
- How to deal with menopausal joint pain
- Menopausal joint pain, if you are concerned, early examination
Joint pain is one of the symptoms of menopause.
During menopause, women may experience various symptoms due to a decrease in the secretion of the female hormone estrogen.
Joint pain is one of the common symptoms of menopause. Symptoms of joint pain during menopause include:
- cracking joints
- Pain, stiffness, swelling, numbness in fingers, shoulders, knees, etc.
- Difficulty going up and down stairs
- Heel pain makes it difficult to walk
- My elbow hurts and I can’t lift a heavy load
- Severe foot pain when wearing high-heeled shoes
- Sensation of ants crawling on the skin (formication), etc.
Although the appearance and severity of symptoms vary from person to person, if you are experiencing these symptoms, they may be due to the effects of menopause.
Causes of joint pain during menopause
Menopause refers to the 10 years before and after menopause, from the mid-40s to mid-50s. During menopause, the decline in ovarian function causes a drastic decrease in the secretion of the female sex hormone estrogen.
Menopause is a time when estrogen, which has been secreted for a long time, suddenly drops sharply, and the body can no longer keep up with the changes, making it easier for various physical and mental symptoms to occur.
In addition, the joint bone-to-bone joints are protected from impact by “cartilage” made of collagen and water. Since estrogen is also greatly involved in the production of collagen, which constitutes cartilage, a drastic decrease in estrogen leads to a lack of cartilage in the joints, which manifests as symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness in the hands and feet.
How to test for menopausal joint pain
In the examination, we first check the symptoms and check if there are any symptoms of menopause other than joint pain.
Typical symptoms that are likely to occur during menopause include “hot flashes”, “sweating”, “headache”, “insomnia”, “irritability”, “depression”, “loss of appetite”, and “low back pain”.
After that, we will check the condition of the bones with X-rays to see if there are any abnormalities in the bones, and we will also perform blood tests according to the symptoms. If necessary, a joint ultrasound will be used to check for inflammation.
Menopausal Joint Pain Treatments
Here are some remedies for post-menopausal joint pain.
improvement of lifestyle
Depending on the symptoms, it may be possible to treat without using drugs by adjusting lifestyle habits, such as creating exercise habits, adopting a well-balanced diet, and adjusting sleep rhythms.
Improving lifestyle habits is a treatment that is easy to incorporate, so if you have symptoms that are worrisome even if they are not severe, you should consult a doctor at a hospital and get advice.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most effective treatment for postmenopausal joint pain . It is treated by supplementing the minimum amount of female hormones necessary to improve symptoms.
There are various types of medicines used in hormone replacement therapy, such as oral medicine, patch medicine, and ointment, and the one that suits the individual is selected.
In addition to improving joint pain, hormone replacement therapy can improve symptoms of the autonomic nervous system such as hot flashes, prevent dyslipidemia, postmenopausal osteoporosis, and reduce the risk of endometrial cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer. is also connected. It also works to keep the skin firm and moist.
If hormone replacement therapy is difficult or if you are worried about side effects, you may be treated with Chinese herbal medicine . For arthralgia, choose from Chinese herbal remedies that include herbal medicines that have pain-relieving and blood-flow-improving properties.
Also, blood flow improvement leads to the reduction of frustration and fatigue.
Here are some herbal remedies for menopausal joint pain:
- Toki shakuyakusan: For those with cold and swelling. It warms the body and promotes blood flow to improve dizziness and pain due to cold.
- Bouiougitou: For those who are fattened by water and have fatigue, swelling, and joint pain. Improves water metabolism to improve swelling and joint pain.
- Keishika Ryojutsubuto: For those with cold and joint pain. It is a Chinese herbal medicine that contains fuzi that warms the body.
If there is no doctor or pharmacist familiar with Kampo near you, or if you are worried about what to do if you choose a product that does not suit your constitution and have side effects, you can consult for free on your smartphone and have it delivered to your home nationwide. How about using the service provided?
Hormone replacement therapy is not a treatment for people with a history of breast or ovarian cancer. Therefore, a component called “equol”, which is produced from soy isoflavone by intestinal bacteria, is currently attracting attention.
Soy isoflavones are said to resemble estrogen, but equol has a structure closer to estrogen than soy isoflavones. Although equol acts as an estrogen, it does not appear to cause breast or ovarian cancer.
Equol is produced in the body when soy products are ingested, but approximately 50% of Japanese people are said to be unable to produce equol no matter how much soy products they ingest. A urine test can be used to find out if you are capable of producing equol.
It should be noted that equol is less effective for people with deformed fingers and toes. Therefore, when taking equol supplements , it is necessary to start taking them before the joints become deformed.
Should I go to the doctor if I have joint pain during menopause?
What you should be concerned about when your joints hurt is the possibility of other diseases. If you have no symptoms other than painful knuckles, the pain may subside over time.
However, joint pain may not be a symptom of menopause, but may be caused by another disease.
If you feel physical discomfort other than pain in your finger joints, can’t move your limbs well, or have repeated swelling and pain, you may have other illnesses. Go to the hospital as soon as possible for a detailed examination.
disease with symptoms resembling joint pain due to menopause
Menopause is not the only cause of joint pain. Therefore, it is necessary to check whether it is due to menopause.
From here, we will introduce diseases with symptoms similar to joint pain due to menopause.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease associated with immune abnormalities. Inflammation in joints causes severe pain and swelling. This inflammation is called synovitis, and if inflammation continues, the synovial membrane within the joint swells, eventually destroying the ligaments and cartilage. As it progresses, it can even destroy bones.
Rheumatoid arthritis differs from other joint diseases in that pain occurs without joint movement.
When joint pain occurs during menopause, it is important to determine whether it is due to the effects of female hormones or rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis appear between the ages of 30 and 50, and overlap with joint pain during menopause. The symptoms are similar to those of menopause, such as “morning stiffness”, “joint pain”, “fatigue, loss of appetite”, so it is necessary to have a specialist examine you thoroughly.
If you are over the age of 40 and have symptoms such as pain in joints all over your body, you should first go to a rheumatologist, an endocrinologist, or an orthopedic surgeon to be examined to see if you have rheumatoid arthritis. Let’s look.
If the cause is not clear at the orthopedic clinic, check the female hormones at a gynecologist to find out if it is due to the effects of menopause.
Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage wears down, causing friction between joint bones and joints, causing inflammation and water retention. In addition, spine-like protrusions called osteophytes may form on the bones, deforming the joints.
Osteoarthritis commonly occurs in the hips, knees, and spine, but can also occur in the hands, neck, and shoulders.
Other finger diseases related to female hormones
Many finger diseases, such as joint swelling and pain, are affected by female hormones. For example, diseases such as:
- spring finger
- de Quervain’s disease
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- Bouchard nodules
- Thumb CM arthropathy
- Heberden nodules , etc.
During menopause, estrogen levels drop sharply, causing tendons and tendon sheaths to swell, leading to tendonitis. Tenosynovitis can easily cause de Quervain’s disease, trigger finger, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
If left untreated, the second joint of the finger will continue to be chronically pulled strongly, which can lead to Bouchard’s nodules. Others may lead to thumb CM arthropathy and Heberden’s nodules.
Symptoms of finger joints due to menopause are characterized by occurring regardless of dominant hand or occupation. If this condition continues for a long time, such as 10 years, the joints may become deformed.
However, some people do not experience joint pain or joint deformity. After menopause, all women experience a drastic decrease in estrogen, but it is thought that the reason why there are individual differences in the symptoms that appear in the joints is due to a constitutional factor.
In addition, the function and number of estrogen receptors are inherited, and there are many cases where mothers who have joint deformation have also had joint deformation.
If the pain persists, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible and receive appropriate treatment.
How to deal with menopausal joint pain
Here are some remedies for joint pain during menopause.
flexion of joints
Menopausal joint pain may cause the hands to be stiff in the morning. If your hands are stiff, you may not be able to put your strength into them and drop cups and other items.
If you have these symptoms of stiffness or lack of grip strength, try clenching and spreading your hands, and slowly repeating goo and par. Bending and stretching the joints in this way may improve hand stiffness.
Warming your hands before squeezing or spreading them will make the movement smoother.
warm the joints
Joints become more painful when cold. Therefore, apply heat to the joints to relieve pain. Wear gloves in cold weather to keep your fingertips warm.
Doing gooper in the bath has a temperature effect and a water pressure effect, making it more effective.
create a regular exercise routine
If the pain of menopausal joint pain improves with treatment, create a regular exercise habit and increase muscle mass. Building muscle helps maintain the muscular support of the joint.
If you overdo it, it will be a burden on your body, so it is recommended that you follow the instructions of your family doctor and gradually incorporate exercise.
Make sure you eat a well-balanced diet
Make sure you’re getting enough protein to build muscle. Also, vitamin E, which has the effect of promoting blood flow, is a nutrient that you should actively take. Vitamin E is recommended to be ingested in seafood, nuts, and vegetable oils.
Diet is also important for relieving menopausal disorder and menopausal symptoms, so if you feel that your eating habits are disturbed, try to eat a well-balanced diet.
During menopause, it is said that the body tends to gain weight due to hormonal imbalance and decreased metabolism. If you have gained a lot of weight or are overweight, you should control your weight to avoid putting a strain on your joints.
Menopausal joint pain, if you are concerned, early examination
Menopause can cause joint pain, such as pain in the limbs, elbows, and knees, due to the effects of decreased estrogen.
Diseases that mimic menopausal joint pain include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
If the pain is only in the joints of the fingers, the pain may subside over time, but if the pain persists or there are other problems, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.