As we age joints generally become stiffer and prone to inflammation. Oestrogen is known for managing inflammation levels throughout the body. The age range for menopause is 45 – 55 years, so you don’t have to think too hard as to why many women put their aches and pains down to ageing.
There are a variety reasons for joint pain during menopause and the obvious one would be hormonal changes. Oestrogen helps to regulate fluid so falling levels make it difficult for your body to hold water, and therefore utilise it efficiently. This can affect the hydration and lubrication of joint tissues(cartilage, ligaments and tendons).
Up to 80% of cartilage is water, making it a very important component of this flexible and protective tissue.
Water is also required to help support the flexibility and elasticity of the ligaments and tendons. When your connective tissue lose their elasticity, your range and ease of movement is reduced. As we age, our activity levels decline, weight goes up and joint stiffness begins. The good news is it’s never too late to reverse this cycle. The best way to keep joints healthy and flexible is to exercise and stretch. Diet is also crucial as electrolytes help maintain fluid balance within muscles.