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Author Topic: Tell us how you cope with joint aches  (Read 450339 times)

Dr. Heather Currie

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Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« on: January 10, 2007, 09:45:43 PM »

Joint aches commonly occur, often affecting neck, wrists and shoulders, but since other causes such as osteoarthritis are very common at this age, they may not be recognised as being associated with the menopause. As well as the possible effect of lack of estrogen affecting the ligaments around joints, research has also shown that this hormonal lack is involved in the development of osteoarthritis. Limited research has shown that osteoarthritis is more common after the menopause and that use of estrogen after the menopause may reduce the numbers of women developing the disease.
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring sugar that is used in the formation of components of joint cartilage. It can be found in some foods such as shellfish and is available in supplement form. Glucosamine is often used for pain relief in osteoarthritis and other joint disorders. It has been concluded that glucosamine 1500 mg daily is a reasonable choice for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee, but further information is required on its effect at other sites. It may take up to 1 month for benefits to be apparent. Side effects appear to be mild and infrequent, and include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, rash, drowsiness, headache and insomnia. There are no known drug interactions between glucosamine and medicines. It should be used with caution if you are allergic to shellfish since some glucosamine products may be derived from shellfish sources.
If you have had joint aches associated with menopause, tell us about them and what you have found helpful.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 08:36:15 PM by Dr. Heather Currie »
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bramble

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2007, 10:49:50 PM »

Hello Dr Currie,
Now you've opened a can of worms! I could bore for Britain on joint and muscle pains!
For the past twenty years I have had almost continuous joint pains in ankles and hands. Sometimes elbows and knees. Most of the time it has been background pain. Over the years, in the periods when the pain has gotten worse, I have tried various anti-inflamms both chemical and herbal, good old paracetemol and ibuprofen etc but the most effective was twice times when I went to a well-known Dutch homeopath. I always put the pain down to work-induced stress. However, when I 'retired' the pains did not go but have not been so bad.
Since the start of the menopause I have had lots of muscle and joint pains all over - especially in my legs, neck and chest area. More than likely due to high anxiety levels. Again I have trodden the well worn route of anti-inflamms etc when the pain has been bad but also tried arnica cream, lavender baths, aromatherapy, swedish massage, none of which has made a noticeable difference. The only slight relief I get is when I use an aromatherapy muscle rub containing camphor, rosemary, black pepper, eucalyptus and wintergreen!  Most of the time I just grimace and bear it!
Bramble
Ps. I am 53, fairly active and not overweight. Been on HRT now for almost 2 years.
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lucknowmom

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2007, 12:28:52 AM »

I too, have had to deal with joint aches for a few years now (I am almost 48 and have been in peri-menopause for about 6 years now)

My main area showing discomfort is ankles, neck and elbows but I find that regular exercise helps loosen up the pain and I can manage without any meds (I can not take glucosamine anyway as I am allergic to shellfish, as Dr. Currie pointed out, glucosamine is quite often made from shellfish)

I have upped my calcium/magnesium intake since starting "the great menopause adventure" and that has helped too.  I am a non-smoker, a non-drinker, I exercise regularly (circuit training 4 - 5 times a week), I'm only 10 pounds over my ideal weight (either that or I'm too short as Pops likes to tell me!!!)  and I still get these joint pains, but a lot less now.  I used to wake up and walk like Frankenstein for about 20 minutes until my muscles and joints "woke up".

Thanks for starting these informative threads, Dr. Currie.

Claire in Canada 
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poppyrose

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2007, 10:14:48 AM »


Hi Ladies,

I too get the most uncomfortable joint pains. I get this dreadful pain across the back of my scapula's, it is so bad sometimes, (especially when I get up from laying in bed) that it nearly cripples me as I just cannot stand straight for a while. The other pain I get is my hips, especially my left hip, this is becoming so bothersome that it is impeding my walking and is making me limp quite badly. So I have just resorted to what I do when things like this get really bad, I have started to use Natural Progesterone Cream with DHEA in it and will do this for around 2 months. I have only just commenced on it for 2 days now and yet already I can feel the difference it is making, it can work this fast. The reason why I do not use it all of the time is that 1) I  am scared that my body will get used to it and I will stop getting benefits from it  2) Although there are no known side effects it is still powerful and should be treated with caution 3) You have to switch sites of application as your tissues can become saturated with this product. 4) each time I have used this cream I have had very good results from it, so want to always have something in reserve for when things get really tough. 5) I also see a reduction in flushes/flashes/sweats.

I have said on another thread that I have also been taking Menocool for around one month, this appeared to have started working and also judging by the excellent info elfie supplied me with on this product, I think this is indeed starting to work. Last night for the first time in around 6 months I only had 2 mild sweats which I was able to deal with and return to sleep immediately. By this time in the morning I have usually had around 6/7/8 flushes and I have only had one very mild one.
My joints although sore are *not* as bad as they were yesterday and certainly not as bad as they were this time last week! I actually got up and walked without limping for a while for the first time in ages.

I have printed out some tables which I am filling in to try and gauge if this menocool is working and I can see a significant difference to when I first went on them.

Let's see if this continues. (fingers crossed)

I agree with Claire these threads written by Dr Currie are really informative and we are really lucky to have a bonafide doctor on board here, as well as all the other wonderful ladies that give their time, their love and support to each other.

lots of Love Pops xxx  ;D ;D ;D

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Rosebush

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2007, 12:29:14 PM »

I also thank Dr Currie for starting these threads.. I suffer from Osteo Arthritis, which as got worse gradually over the last 5yrs, the last 3 have been the worse, due to hot sweats, i walk around in winter, dressed for summer, and during the night, find anywhere that is freezing cold, just to cool down quicker, so i can breathe again.

The pain at present is bad in my knee's and elbows, i take gloucosamine 1000mg daily, but the last few weeks on GP's advice, have been taking 3 anti inflammatory tabs daily, the knee pain was so acute, i was off work for 2 wks, back now, but on my feet 8hrs a day, so by the end of my shift the pain is back again, however not so bad now...

Like Pops, i am really pleased to say, and i hope i am not tempting fate, but my hot sweats have not been to bad the last 2 days/nights, for 2wks i have been taking Boron 3mg daily, and for 8 days have taken Starflower oil as recommended by Star, dont know if it is my body starting to wind down, OR a combination of the the tabs, but not going to stop the tabs to find out, this morning i got up and felt better than i have in ages, had i hot sweat and 2 mild flushes, and like Pops this is a drastic reduction, soooo hoping it lasts
« Last Edit: January 17, 2007, 11:09:33 PM by Rosebush »
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sue54

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2007, 06:22:51 PM »

I take 1000mg of Glucosamine daily & find that this helps an awful lot with the joint pains. Muscle pains some days are a real pain ( excuse the pun ). Really bad first thing in the morning but get better as the days goes on. I am like a 90 year old some mornings when I get out of bed & hobbling all over the place.

Sue
 :-*
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Hotflush

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2007, 05:45:03 PM »

I ache from head to foot sometimes i feel like i am about 90 years of age.  It does really get you down though.

I have had swollen joints for 20 years and up to the big M was localised, now i get it in what i call clusters.  My finger joints can be swollen at the same time as my knee and ankles and the tips of my fingers can go hard and sore.

It occurs mainly if i have been doing heavy lifting of shopping bags or using large pan's or even cutting with sissors any material that might be a bit tough.

I am not a week person and i am not scared of hard work, but the condition does disable me from time to time.  When we had been moving to another area once my wrist swelled and i could not drive for 2 days.

I  am being tested  and have had x-rays and i am waiting for another attack as the consultant has given me a test kit and said the next real cluster i get, i was to go to the GP and have blood tests right away while the swelling was there.

The only thing is that was about 2 months ago and i haven't had a cluster since.  Always the same isn't it girls.

Hotflush
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poppyrose

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2007, 06:41:56 PM »


Hotflush, how utterly typical  ::) I don't know what to say really, I can't wish that you will get an attack as I don't want to think of you suffering, but I would wish that you could get some answers to your questions.  :-\ :-\ :-\

I can relate to you and Sue when you say you feel like 90 year olds though, I often think this when I am trying to walk in the morning grabbing hold of things for support!

RosieB I bought some Starflower oil caps today on the advice of Starflower and have taken the first one, let's see if they work for me, I hope so. Things have a habit of working for me for a short while then stopping and it is very frustrating, but I don't think it will harm to take them regardless anyway as they are good for joints too. The Menocool I I thought were working then I got sick with flu etc and my natural defense to this is to have sweats and a raised temp these days (didn't use to be though), so didn't know if they had stopped working, or if it was the illness making me hot and flushed. Well I carried on taking it, even though I have now developed gastric disturbance ( I am being polite here ladies  ;D ;D ;D LOL)  and do not know if this is a bug or a reaction to the menocool. Either way now the illnesses seem to be clearing my system a little (still got infected sinuses though) the flushes do seem to be settling again, so maybe the menocool is working? Confused? yes so am I LOL But I am still going to take the Starflower though. I hope I get the same kind of reaction you got RosieB.  ;D ;D ;D

Lots of Love Pops xxx  :-* :-* :-*

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bramble

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2007, 08:07:11 PM »

Just as an after thought! I have been so used to ignoring my joint pains that now I come to think about it, they have not been so bad these last few months. I always used to take cod liver oil (capsules) but changed about 3 months ago to evening primrose oil (2 capsules at night). Coincidence or not?
Bramble
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Hotflush

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2007, 08:47:02 PM »

Pops, i do understand what you mean.  I am wishing an attack, how bad is that?  I do get arse ache regular now around the top of the legs around just below the hip bone, i feel sometimes like i have been riding a horse.  I thought i was the only one crawling around the place in the morning.  You still have your sense of humour though, what a great gal you are.

lol hotflush
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poppyrose

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2007, 11:03:34 AM »


Hotflush, you get what? ROTFL. Well I have heard of some aches and pains on this forum but this is a new one on me LOL

Hope you manage to lose it soon your a/ache that is! LOL

Lots of Love Pops xxx  ;D ;D ;D
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Hotflush

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2007, 06:42:19 PM »

Thought you would like that one Pops!  Right now i am feeling really achey as i have been climbing rocks and picking mussels off the beach and i am extreemly in pain now.

lol hotflush
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poppyrose

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2007, 07:02:08 PM »


Hi Ladies  ;D

Quote
Bramble said:

Just as an after thought! I have been so used to ignoring my joint pains that now I come to think about it, they have not been so bad these last few months. I always used to take cod liver oil (capsules) but changed about 3 months ago to evening primrose oil (2 capsules at night). Coincidence or not?
Bramble

No bramble   :-* :-* :-* I don't think it is a coincidence, I have heard of many others having good effect from Evening Primrose too and I am really glad you seem to be, anything we can do (within reason) to lessen these symptoms has got to be a good thing.  :-* mmm where would you draw the line at getting some relief bramble? Now let's see i don't think I could eat hedgehog crisps!

Hotflush  ;D

Now what are you up to, you loony? Do you know I think I had better get my eyes tested pretty quickly I thought you said:

I have been climbing rocks and picking muffins  off the beach, not mussels   :o
I honestly wondered what the hecky peck muffins were doing on the beach!

Lots of Love Pops xxx  :peace: :peace: :peace:


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Hotflush

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2007, 01:58:00 PM »

 :clapping:

Oh pops, did i do something as stupid as that, now that is the daftest thing i did last night.

I forgot to tell everyone, my spelling is cra_ at times.

lol hotflush :-X
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Tanny

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Re: Tell us how you cope with joint aches
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2007, 09:24:13 AM »

Joint aches commonly occur, often affecting neck, wrists and shoulders, but since other causes such as osteoarthritis are very common at this age, they may not be recognised as being associated with the menopause. As well as the possible effect of lack of estrogen affecting the ligaments around joints, research has also shown that this hormonal lack is involved in the development of osteoarthritis. Limited research has shown that osteoarthritis is more common after the menopause and that use of estrogen after the menopause may reduce the numbers of women developing the disease.
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring sugar that is used in the formation of components of joint cartilage. It can be found in some foods such as shellfish and is available in supplement form. Glucosamine is often used for pain relief in osteoarthritis and other joint disorders. It has been concluded that glucosamine 1500 mg daily is a reasonable choice for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee, but further information is required on its effect at other sites. It may take up to 1 month for benefits to be apparent. Side effects appear to be mild and infrequent, and include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, rash, drowsiness, headache and insomnia. There are no known drug interactions between glucosamine and medicines. It should be used with caution if you are allergic to shellfish since some glucosamine products may be derived from shellfish sources.
If you have had joint aches associated with menopause, tell us about them and what you have found helpful.


Hi Dr Currie,
I am now approaching 50 and have had really painful aches and pains in my joints over the last five years.  I think what you are saying about OA being common for us in this age group also is an issue, because it means for many of us we don't get a definite diagnosis from our GP's, and are just told we should expect these things.  For me, it has become very restrictive on my everyday life, it isn't constant, it comes and goes but is generally worse around this time of year.  I also have a physical disability, which adds to the complications of getting a diagnosis.  My aches and pains are generally in my lower back and hip (on one side), however, also have pains in my wrist on one side and now that elbow also. I also have the joints in one finger that look slightly swollen, interestingly when the my other joints hurt this finger often is red and painful too, one GP told me all my finger joints would become mishapen - another one told me that was rubbish, so not sure who to believe.  I have just been advised to take Ibprofane, but I also take paracetomol and on bad days codeine and really worry about the side effects of that as well. This time of year is general the worst, but last year the hottest part of the summer was bad too. I take Glucosamine also, also exercise at the gym regularly, but never know if the exercise is making things worse or better as each week I seem to have one joint or other aching.

I also have had no diagnosis as to whether I am or am not in the menopause, but suspect from other symptoms that I am.
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