Menopause and muscle pain.
Over the years hundreds of women in the forties and fifties have come to me looking for treatment of increased muscle pain and aches, which often seems to come out of the blue and they have no recollection of an injury, either old or new.
Often they experience pains in many different areas simultaneously, and have been through various investigations for Rheumatological causes but nothing is found. Sometimes there is associated fatigue and lack of energy, but not quite to the extent of ME or Fibromyalgia.
I have always suspected that there is a relationship between changes in hormone levels of the menopause and peri-menopause and the pain experienced, but it's only in the last few years that the relationship between Cortisol and Estrogen and Progesterone has become fully understood.
We now know that a drop in Estrogen and Progesterone (and Testosterone) during the menopause increases the effect of Cortisol in the body. There is also evidence that Cortisol rises as we age. Stress, even low-level stress, increases Cortisol even further, and this affects our muscles and joints and contributes to the symptoms of pain, aching tension and fatigue, as well as depression and anxiety.
My intuitive approach has always been to treat and support the body holistically, i.e. not just treat the body manually and with exercises, but also improve nutrition and promote mental/spiritual wellbeing through relaxation and meditation.
This made complete sense to me and I witnessed huge changes in my client's wellbeing, but none of us fully understood the science behind it.
Now that we understand the delicate balance of cortisol and sex hormones, and most importantly, the effect of stress, even low-level stress, on increased Cortisol release, resulting in muscle aches and pains, fatigue and even depression and anxiety, we are able to deal with those symptoms better and more effectively that ever before. In next few blogs I will discuss what steps we can take to reduce the effects of Cortisol in our bodies to improve health and wellbeing and reduce symptoms of pain and tension.