Joint pain

Joint pain during menopause is common. Nearly half of all women in menopause are bothered by joint pain. Pain is frequently experienced in the smaller joints, such as those in the hands and fingers. But you may also have symptoms in your shoulders, knees, toes, wrists, elbows, back and hips.

Where does joint pain come from?

Painful joints probably occur due to the decreasing amount of estrogen in your body. Estrogen helps the joints' mucus membranes and soft tissue remain moist and infused with blood, which allows the joints to move past each other smoothly. When estrogen levels in the body decrease, the mucus membranes begin to lose their protective function. Movement in the joints can then be painful.

Tips for joint pain

  • Keep exercising responsibly. Many people stop exercising because their joints hurt, but this just makes the symptoms worse.
  • Avoid too great an effort and rest if you're tired. Mix up your exercise routine to include some weight-bearing activity.
  • Pay close attention to your posture so that your joints can move together easily and you have good flexibility.
  • Good fats act as lubrication for your joints. Eat oily fish a couple of times each week (salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines) and bake and fry using either butter or coconut oil. Raw nuts, avocados, linseed oil and olive oil also contain good fats.
  • Eat green leafy vegetables regularly: these are rich in fibre and magnesium.
  • Avoid cold, damp places if at all possible.

Want to learn how to cope with other symptoms? Get expert advice for the most prevalent menopausal symptoms.