Leg pain & menopause

Written by alicia gallegos
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The transition of menopause can bring about various aches and pains in a woman's body, from head to toes. Although leg pain has not been not directly linked to menopause, joint pain and cramps can stem from the hormonal condition, sometimes affecting the leg. There are a number of ways to alleviate those aching limbs.

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The Facts

No long-term studies have been done specifically connecting leg pain to menopause, says Marie Lugano, president of the American Menopause Association. But women have been known to experience varying levels of discomfort during the menopause years, legs included.

Joint pain is commonly reported by women. along with sore muscles and sometimes cramps. Leg cramps can come on abruptly, affecting your sleep patterns and can last for days. Menopausal leg cramps generally target your calf muscles, but can also occur in your thigh, according to the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.

Causes

Various reasons exist for menopausal leg-related pain. When oestrogen levels drop, inflammation of the joints increases, according to http://www.my-menopause-solutions.com, resulting in painful aches. Joint pain and sore muscles can also come from a lack of calcium and is also common during menopause. As for sleep deprivation, when you aren't resting enough, your limbs suffer too. Painful leg muscles then continue the cycle of insomnia by keeping you up at night. Leg cramps can also be caused by lack of physical exercise or an imbalance of proper nutrition.

Effects

No serious harm generally comes from leg cramps and joint pain, but aches can affect quality of life and be overwhelming during menopause. According to Margery Gass, M.D., executive director of the North American Menopause Society in Cincinnati, studies show that joint pain from menopause usually disappears within two to three years, with or without taking hormones.

Prevention/Solution

Staying active and stretching regularly helps dispel joint pain, says Dr. Gass, along with maintaining your full range of motion. Walking or running even short distances is key in keeping those muscles moving. Massaging leg cramps usually aids in soothing pain, according to the National Association of Baby Boomer Women website. Tonic water and soaking in a peppermint oil bath has also been proven to help. Addressing insomnia might also be the first step in relieving leg pain related with menopause.

Considerations

If you are taking menopausal medications and experiencing leg cramps, you should talk to your doctor to be sure the pain is not a related side effect. Blood tests can also show if you have a vitamin or potassium deficiency and might need supplements.

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