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Musculoskeletal Health and Menopause

Musculoskeletal Health and Menopause

Menopause is a natural process that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. It typically occurs in women in their late 40s or early 50s, and is characterized by a decline in the production of the female sex hormones - oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen deficiency around menopause affects the health of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, collagen, cartilage, synovial membrane and capsule of joints.

These hormonal changes can have a massive impact on musculoskeletal health in several ways:

Bone Health: One of the most well-known effects of menopause on the musculoskeletal system is its impact on bone health. Oestrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining bone density, and its decline during menopause can lead to a higher risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by low bone mineral density and deterioration of the micro-architecture of bone.  Weakened bones are more prone to fractures. Women are at an increased risk of osteoporosis after menopause, and it's important to take steps to maintain or improve bone density. 

Muscle Changes and Joint Pain: Progressive changes in muscle mass and therefore in muscle strength are common during and after menopause. This loss of muscle tone is a condition known as sarcopenia. Hormonal shifts can lead to changes in collagen, a protein that supports joint and muscle health. Weak muscles, weak joints and frailty increase the risk of falls. Joint pain, stiffness, and muscle weakness and loss of balance may occur as a result. This can have a massive impact on performing normal daily activities if left to deteriorate as we age. 

Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain: Menopause may also be associated with an increased risk of osteoarthritis, a common joint condition that occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of bones wears down over time. This can lead to joint pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

Regular exercise is absolutely crucial for maintaining musculoskeletal health during and after menopause. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jumping, hiking, climbing stairs, tennis, hopping, dancing, jogging, and resistance training can help preserve bone density and muscle mass. Aerobic exercise can help improve muscle protein synthesis and muscle quality. 

Additionally, exercise is very important in improving joint flexibility and balance thereby helping to reduce the risk of falls and fractures as we age.

There are also other factors that need to be considered. Lifestyle modifications such as weight management, dietary changes, nutritional support and medication are just as important. Our naturopaths can help with these lifestyle factors and any modifications that you need. 

So you don’t need to suffer through these life changes-there are solutions to many of your symptoms. 

Osteopathy is a form of manual healthcare which focuses on your neuro-musculoskeletal system - the bones, muscles, nerves and other tissues that support your body and control its movements. Osteopathic treatment can help deal with the physical symptoms of pain and stiffness.

Our osteopath, Vanessa Malone, has a fantastic new EXERCISE APP called PHYSITRACK that can provide you with a customized stretch and or exercise plan tailored to your specific goals and needs. You can do your exercise sessions from the comfort of your own home or any location that suits you at any time that’s convenient for you. She can provide ongoing guidance, support, and motivation via the app to keep you on track to ensure you achieve your goals.

There is also an option of telehealth appointments going forward to adjust, modify or increase your program without physical appointments depending on what you need. Or she can discuss the best path for you to follow going forward if you’d prefer other types of training. 

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at maloneosteo@gmail.com or book via this link to Cliniko or call our reception during business hours on (02) 8084 0081.




Posted on 8 October 2023
Author:Vanessa Malone
Tags:Pain managementPreventative medicineOsteopathyMenopause

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