Are You Feeling Creaky?

A smiling menopausal women working out with small purple weights

Our teenage growing pains may be a distant memory, but as we enter menopause and perimenopause we often develop a similar problem – rather than growing pains we get ageing pains.  Because we expect to feel more pain and stiffness many women simply accept this without realising what's going on inside, and without finding out what we can do to alleviate these symptoms.

Menopause contributes to joint pain and stiffness caused by falling oestrogen levels.  This hormone acts as an anti-inflammatory, so as our oestrogen levels decrease, so does our body's ability to fight normal joint and muscle inflammation (the type that arises from daily wear and tear).  Some of us may start to experience pain caused by this inflammation.  HRT can help with this by restoring oestrogen levels and therefore the anti-inflammatory effect, but of course there are a lot of other things we can do to help ourselves too.

Diet plays a big role in maintaining joint and muscle health, and in reducing natural inflammation.  Compounds like ginger are anti-inflammatory, as are turmeric and garlic.  The bamboo extract in the MenoShake is high in silica, a compound which is important for maintaining cartilage and bone.  This can help keep our joints flexible, reducing the friction which may cause inflammation.  Marine collagen powder also contributes to joint and bone health and with the algae source of vitamin D3 plus extra vitamin C, the MenoShake is ideally formulated for great bone and joint health.

Some of us will have a higher risk of osteoporosis and may already have osteopenia (the stage before osteoporosis where our bone density is already low) and if that's the case for you, acting early by increasing vital nutrients such as those available in the MenoShake and engaging in some low-impact, weight bearing exercise, can help support this area of health.  Working with a healthcare team is a really important part of fighting menopause symptoms, so do engage with your GP and other specialists to ensure that you follow a plan that is right for you.

Exercise, as you might expect, is something that is recommended to help fight joint pain.  Some people think that using the joints more will compound the problem, but this is generally untrue.  Think about how stiff you feel in the morning compared to how much better you feel once you get going – the more we do, the more we are able to do.  Strengthening and mobility, low impact exercises are the types of exercise that we should do more of as we reach the menopausal years.

Swimming and aqua-aerobics are excellent exercises for improving joint health as the water supports our body weight and provides resistance.  Being in the water also improves circulation, which makes any exercise you do in the pool much more effective overall than doing the same movements on land.  Using heavy weights in the gym may cause more problems with our joints at this stage of life, so consider speaking to a professional who will be able to advise you accordingly if weight training is an area you wish to explore.

Yoga, pilates and other strengthening and joint mobility exercise programs are advised for improving joint health and many of these can be done at home using a DVD or online videos (there are even NHS approved ones on their website).

So, if you're feeling creaky introduce the MenoShake to your daily routine, and switch up your exercise regime for a low-impact, joint healthy one that will keep you running smoothly for years.

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