Updated 21 July 2014

Joint pain in menopause

Many women suffer joint pain as one of their earliest symptoms of menopause.


Often starting during perimenopause, it may suddenly become painful to get out of bed, walk upright to the bathroom or get dressed. Quite often the joints of the back, fingers, knees and ankles are afffected.  The severity of the joint pain may decrease after a few months.

What you can do
• Do stretching exercises as often as possible. Hold a stretch for 20 minutes without bumping up and down.
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (such as Coxflam and Arcoxia) may relieve some of the pain.
• In cases of severe and ongoing joint pain, hormone therapy may be the only option to preserve the joints.

Compiled by Mari Hudson (Health24). Reviewed and updated by Dr Alan Alperstein, obestetrician and gynaecologists in Cape Town, in February 2011.   




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