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Muscle and Tendon Pain During Menopause 

Menopause is an inevitable phase in a woman’s life, which brings a set of changes and challenges to the body. A component to these changes is how menopause acts on tendon health and repair, with the role of oestrogen production. Tendons are connective tissues that connect muscles to bones and are critical for movement and stability. Here we will explore menopause and its relation to tendon health.

OESTROGEN AND ITS RELATION TO TENDON HEALTH

Oestrogen is the female sex hormone which plays a crucial role in the maintenance of musculoskeletal health, including the reproduction system, bone density maintenance and the structure and function of tendons.

Tendons are structurally composed from collagen proteins which ensure optimal tendon integrity and function. As women begin to experience perimenopause, oestrogen levels start to decrease and significantly plumet over time, leading to decreased collagen production and increased degradation within the tendons. This is due to oestrogen playing a crucial role in maintaining collagen formation and its orientation.

The result of this can cause weaker and less elastic tendons, making them more prone to injuries and negatively impacting the tendon’s ability to repair when damaged.

EXERCISE DURING PERIMENOPAUSE

Perimenopause is described as a transitional phase over several years before menopause, and is an ideal time to begin or intensify training to help combat tendon disrepair, muscle mass and bone density decline. As oestrogen production is still at a suitable level during this phase, it is recommended to undergo moderate-high intensity strength training best suited to your current activity levels to help promote bone density, muscle mass and tendon health. Added benefits with exercises also include reducing heat flushes and night sweats.

EXERCISE DURING MENOPAUSE

Recovery in this stage is crucial to understand to help maintain optimal muscle, bone and tendon health, whilst considering the effects that lower oestrogen levels have on recovery times.

Tendon repair is generally a longer process and can take further time to heal during the stages of menopause.

Moderate-high intensity strength training is also recommended during menopause to ensure further promotion of a healthy musculoskeletal system, and help combat the effects menopause has on a woman’s body.

It’s suggested that longer recovery times are utilised to help with tissue repair, all of which can be guided by a health professional.

EXERCISE DURING POST-MENOPAUSE

Post-menopausal women are prompted to continue in their strength training in order to maintain muscle, bone and tendon health while adhering to recovery time principals. While moderate-high intensity training is recommended, usually weight load/time under tension will be less than previous capabilities. Tendon health in postmenopausal women can be challenging, and might require adjunct treatment modalities or specialist input, to help alleviate pain and inflammation while continuing strength training.

At Fortitude Chiropractic, our expert team can help guide your training and help upkeep your body throughout each stage of menopause, ensuring you are best prepared for each scenario.

Book an appointment online today or call (08) 6184 8835 and start your journey to healthy living today!

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