Hi, I'm Dr. Bianca!


I’m a menopausal woman. I write about what it's like to get through the hormonal transition we’ve come to know as menopause. My intent is to help us all age together in the best and healthiest way possible. Let’s not suffer in silence. Let’s normalize the conversation. 


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Menopause muscle and joint pain presents a complex challenge many women face during this transitional period.

While most menopause conversations center around hot flashes and mood fluctuations, the effects of muscle and joint discomfort often remain under-discussed. 

As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I've treated numerous women through these struggles. 

Yet, my personal experience with these symptoms deepened my understanding of their significance.

In this blog post, we explore the link between menopause and musculoskeletal health, highlighting causes of pain and holistic management strategies.

My Personal Experience with Perimenopausal Symptoms

I was training for my third half-ironman a couple of years ago.

I went out for a moderately long training run two days after a good old New York snowstorm. 

It was a bit icy, so my running gait turned into somewhat of a "run shuffle" and my form was "off". 

At mile 7, I noticed a sharp pain in my left hip. I couldn't push through it so walked the remaining 3 miles back to my car. 

At the time, I was closing in on my late perimenopausal phase.

Morning stiffness was my first clue, followed by muscle aches in my calves, and feet.

Having always led an active lifestyle, these changes weren’t just unexpected; they were unwelcome.

The muscle aches eventually turned into chronic pain in my heel and it took over 16 months before I was finally able to walk without a limp.

This personal experience threw me into the vast sea of obscure menopausal muscle pain, a condition more common than often acknowledged.

the Estrogen Connection

Estrogen, while widely recognized for its role in reproductive health, is also integral to addressing muscle aches in menopausal women.

The hormonal changes causing joint pain during this transition period are often attributed to the decrease in estrogen levels, leading to major menopause muscle and joint pain experiences.

The significance of estrogen goes beyond just being linked to menopause-related arthritis.

It's also instrumental in potentially causing conditions like osteoporosis after menopause.

Furthermore, estrogen's influence on our musculoskeletal system is pivotal, especially when considering the maintenance and health of our connective tissue, which can be particularly vulnerable during the menopausal phase.

Frozen Shoulder: Common in Menopausal women 

Drawing from both my personal journey and my professional expertise as a DPT, I've taken care of various conditions that women face during this transitional phase. 

One such condition, which stands out due to its debilitating nature, is frozen shoulder. 

Known in medical terms as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is not just a random ailment.

It occurs frequently among menopausal women, often catching them off guard.

The underlying factor?


This vital hormone has a profound influence on our musculoskeletal system

As women progress through menopause and estrogen levels begin to decline,  the connective tissue in the body, loses flexibility and elasticity. 

Consequently, conditions like frozen shoulder emerge, leading to restricted movement, discomfort, and persistent pain. 

Understanding this link is essential, not only for effective hormonal treatments but also for preventive measures and better exercise management strategies.

Plantar fasciitis: A menopausal Misstep 

Another condition that surfaces during menopause, linked intricately with estrogen's influence on the musculoskeletal system, is plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis, a painful inflammation of the dense band of connective tissue at the bottom of the foot, is also common among menopausal women. 

The connection (again)?

You guessed it!


One of estrogen's pivotal roles is maintaining the mobility and health of connective tissues.

As women navigate through menopause and estrogen levels decline, connective tissues lose their elasticity and resilience

The foot, taking most of the stress of weight bearing activities, becomes particularly vulnerable, leading to conditions like plantar fasciitis. 

Moreover, during menopause, the body's recovery mechanisms can be slower due to hormonal shifts and inflammation lingers for longer periods of time.

Exploring solutions for pain relief 

Tackling menopause muscle and joint pain is about more than just finding quick fixes for the discomfort.

It's about digging deeper to understand why these pains are happening and how they develop in the first place. 

As our bodies age and go through hormonal changes during menopause, our muscles and joints absorb the effects. 

Instead of just looking for short-term relief, it's important to see the bigger picture.

Therefore, by recognizing the connection, we can adjust our lifestyles, and better manage these symptoms. 

Natural Remedies for menopausal muscle and joint pain 

Finding relief from joint pain without always resorting to medication can be hard for most. 

Nature does offer a variety of options if you choose to try something more holistic. 

Drawing from my 20+ years in the field of health and wellness, I've found that some natural remedies for menopause muscle and joint pain can be highly effective. 

Ranging from herbal supplements to dietary tweaks and stress alleviation techniques, these remedies address the unique challenges of menopause-related discomforts.

Herbal Supplements

From my personal research and observations, certain herbs have shown promise in addressing menopausal muscle and joint pain.

Herbal supplements can contain natural anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce swelling and pain, offering a holistic approach to managing menopause-related discomforts.

  • Black Cohosh, for instance, has been used traditionally to alleviate menopausal symptoms. It is known to have anti-inflammatory and pain numbing properties. 
  • Evening Primrose Oil is another supplement that many of my patients have found beneficial due to its rich gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content, which can help in combating joint pain. GLA reduces inflammation while producing anti-inflammatory chemical messangers.

Diet Modifications

Nutrition plays a pivotal role during menopause.

The foods we eat during menopause can impact hormonal balance, inflammation, and musculoskeletal health. 

A balanced diet can ease physical discomforts and enhance overall well-being, making this phase more manageable.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish like salmon and mackerel, helps to counter inflammation and alleviate joint pain.
  • Antioxidant Foods, such as berries and leafy greens, can help reduce oxidative stress, often exacerbating menopausal symptoms.

Stress Reduction Techniques

Stress can amplify menopause-related discomforts.

At the heart of pain often lies stress

When our bodies are stressed, they respond by releasing hormones like cortisol, which can increase inflammation and amplify the sensation of pain. 

  • Mindfulness Meditation enhances brain function and body awareness, and reduces stress and its inflammatory effects. It strengthens emotional regulation, thereby aiding in pain and inflammation management. If you are interested in going deeper into meditations for menopause, check out our signature MENOTATIONS.
  • Deep breathing stimulates the relaxation response, enhances oxygenation, releases natural painkillers, relaxes muscles, aids detoxification, and fosters mindfulness, collectively reducing pain and inflammation.

TO HRT / (B)HRT or not?

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) are therapeutic interventions often used to counteract the symptoms associated with menopause, including musculoskeletal pain. 

The premise of these address the hormonal imbalances that arise during the menopausal transition, specifically the decline in estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels.

Estrogen plays a pivotal role in maintaining joint and muscle health, and its reduction can lead to increased inflammation, joint stiffness, and muscle discomfort. 

By introducing HRT or (B)HRT, the body's hormone levels are increased or balanced, helping to restore the protective effects on the musculoskeletal system. 

This, in turn, alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and improves overall musculoskeletal function.

A META-ANALYSIS Study, 2020 

A comprehensive meta-analysis published in the Neural Plasticity journal sheds light on the progression of musculoskeletal pain (MSP) throughout the different stages of menopause.

The findings reveal an interesting trend: the likelihood of experiencing MSP sees a notable increase as women transition from the premenopause stage to the perimenopause phase.

However, this upward trend does not continue when moving from perimenopause to postmenopause.

Intriguingly, when it comes to the severity of MSP, the data paints a different picture. 

The chances of encountering moderate to severe MSP intensify in a linear manner right from premenopause, through perimenopause, and into the postmenopause stage.

This insight underscores the varying intensities and experiences of musculoskeletal discomforts women may face throughout their menopausal journey.

Beyond Pain: Other Implications of Menopause

Navigating through menopause is not just about handling the hot flashes or mood swings.

While joint pain and muscle aches are certainly prominent symptoms, menopause introduces a wider spectrum of musculoskeletal challenges that deserve attention.

Conditions like menopausal muscle fatigue and muscle weakness in menopause are indicative of how deep the impact can be.

Moreover, some women might encounter more complex conditions like menopause-related fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, and mood issues.

Which further emphasizes the large range of physical challenges during this phase.

Diet and Supplements for menopause Joint Health

The diet for menopause joint health should be addressed.

Incorporating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D becomes imperative, as these nutrients play a crucial role in bone health and muscle function.

In addition, integrating anti-inflammatory foods, such as omega-3 rich fish, turmeric, and berries, can help combat inflammation, a common culprit behind joint pain and muscle discomfort. 

However, it's not just about the foods we eat. 

To further support musculoskeletal strength and resilience during menopause, considering certain supplements for menopause muscle strength and flexibility. 

Magnesium glycinate or branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are two of my favorites for alleviating tight muscles (Mg) and repairing muscles after hard use (BCAAs).

ConcludinG Thoughts

Navigating through menopause isn't just a physiological journey; it’s an emotional and mental one too.

From experiencing menopause and chronic muscle pain to understanding the subtle nuances of estrogen levels and muscle pain, the journey is more zig-zag than linear.

With the right knowledge, support, and care, the menopausal phase can be navigated gracefully, ensuring optimum joint and muscle health.

Remember, whether you're exploring natural ways to ease menopause joint pain or seeking medical interventions, understanding and listening to your body is the key.

Products I Use

magnesium lotion for menopause pain

Magnesium Lotion

mindful meditation for menopause pain and body image

Guided Meditation

DIM Evening Primrose for menopause muscle and joint pain

Evening Primrose


Menopause Muscle and Joint Pain: A Personal and Professional Experience

picture of a woman leaning over a desk with menopause muscle and joint pain


October 7, 2023


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Dr. Bianca Beldini

I’m your Doctor of Physical Therapy, Acupuncturist, Master Dry Needler, and Triathlon and Running Coach. I’ve been in the health, wellness and fitness industry for over 25 years, and I’m here to help you reach your optimal health.