Partly due to the normal processes of aging, and partly as a result of menopause, many women experience the aches and pains of muscle deterioration, joint inflammation, and loss of bone mass during midlife. This is a normal but interruptive occurrence in women between the ages of 45 and 55, often coinciding with the onset of menopause, largely thanks to the dips in hormones that happen at this time. Fortunately, there are several things you can do at home to prevent and treat muscle and joint pain.
Preventing Muscle and Joint Pain at Home
The suggestions below are solutions that will help counteract the source of muscle and joint pain, giving you lasting relief:
If you are experiencing pain, being active might be the last thing you feel like doing. However, exercise is not only one of the best preventions of the problems associated with muscles, joints, and bones, but it is also shown to slow the effects of these issues as they occur. Keeping fit will keep your bones strong, which will inevitably help your muscles and joints, too. Don't think you have to become a pro athlete at 50 years old - a moderate activity routine will go a long way in maintaining your strength, balance, and flexibility.
Vitamin D and calcium
Not getting enough of either of these nutrients has been linked to muscle-related disease and the impairment of muscle endurance. Alternately, when consumed in proper dosages, both have a positive and noticeable effect on overall energy levels, bone health, and muscle performance. It is recommended that people over the age of 65 should be vigilant about getting 1,200 mg of calcium and 400 - 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day, whether through a healthy diet, supplements, or spending time in the warm sunshine.
Muscle tension and stress both play a big part in body aches. If you're feeling particularly wound up, it is a good idea to participate in some basic stretching or yoga. Try a few stretching exercises in the morning when you get up or before you go to bed. Yoga will not only help improve flexibility and muscle strength, but its slow, relaxing, and methodical concentration can do wonders for finding both mental and physical calm. Getting enough sleep each night is also important for your body to rest and heal.
The tips above are great for long-term care of muscle and joint pain in the legs, arm, back, and body. However, for more immediate relief, you can try cold packs, hot presses, anti-inflammatory and pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, a warm bath, or light massage.
Muscle and joint decline are a normal part of getting older, but the pain doesn't have to be with the right precautionary measures. Menopause is a phase that touches many parts of life, but with good habits such as a healthy diet and exercise, and perhaps the addition of helpful herbal remedies if needed, the balance of both your body and your life can be restored. Read more about managing joint pain.
- Dugdale, D. (2012). Aging changes in the bones - muscles - joints. Retrieved January 26, 2015, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004015.htm
- Vorvick, L. (2013). Muscle aches. Retrieved on January 26, 2015, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003178.htm