Are Your Muscle Tensions A Symptom of Menopause?
As women start to experience early menopause symptoms, many will notice the onset of muscle tension. This is a common early menopause symptom that is a normal part of getting older; however, there are treatments that can help alleviate muscle tension related to menopause.
Women between the ages of 45 and 55 begin to experience hormonal fluctuations that pre-empt the eventual low levels of hormones that set in once menopause has been achieved and thereafter. This hormonal fluctuation is responsible for muscle tension prior to menopause.
Muscle tension is one of the early menopause symptoms that is closely related to stress and anxiety. It’s the feeling that muscles are always tight or strained, sometimes to the point of frequent pain, or even persistent and ongoing pain. One can experience tension, pain or cramps in any of the body’s muscles as a result of muscle tension.
Early Menopause Symptoms Related to Muscle Tension
- Tightness in the muscles, especially in the back, shoulders, neck, and abdomen
- Muscle tenderness
- Tension headache
- Stress or anxiety
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle pain and soreness
As mentioned above, hormonal fluctuations are the primary cause of muscle tension in women approaching menopause. As menopause nears, a woman´s body reacts in many ways. Her hormones, primarily estrogen and progesterone, begin to fluctuate as they prepare to settle into low levels for the rest of her life.
Both estrogen and progesterone play a part in causing muscle tension. First, estrogen exercises an inhibitive effect on the stress-hormone cortisol. When estrogen is too low, levels of cortisol rise, raising blood pressure and blood sugar. Extended high levels of cortisol in the face of low estrogen levels causes the muscles in the body to tighten and become fatigued.
Progesterone has a calming effect on the body and mind. When levels of progesterone begin to drop prior to menopause, muscles tend to become tense.
To treat muscle tension in the healthiest manner possible, it´s important to explore treatment options that get to the root of the problem without leaving women with harmful side effects. That´s why most doctors recommend beginning with lifestyle changes, then moving onto alternative medicines, and if nothing else seems to be working, look to drugs or surgery to alleviate the symptoms of muscle tension. Click here for a detailed explanation of treatments for early menopause symptoms.