Joint Health for Women
As we age and our bodies change, some women might develop joint pain. This is fairly common and somewhat manageable with the right course of action.
But first let’s understand what causes joint pain in women.
Causes of Joint Pain in Women
A single cause that contributes to the pain and discomfort you experience doesn't exist when it comes to joint pain. Instead, a wide array of causes lead to the sensation of pain. Previous injuries, overuse or lack of exercise tend to be the main culprits. However, there might be other reasons beyond this such as Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, obesity or even hormonal changes.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of the bones wears out with age.
What are the signs and symptoms of OA?
- Pain or aching
- Decreased range of motion (or flexibility)
Despite the fact that OA can affect any joint in the body, it primarily develops in the spine, hands, knees, and hips.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints. According to experts, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to strike women at a younger age than men.
What are the signs and symptoms of RA?
- Tender, warm, swollen joints
- Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity
- Fatigue, fever and weight loss
Obesity can have multiple effects on our body, both mentally and physically. Over time, the strain of extra weight can place our joints under pressure creating joint pain and arthritis.
When we reach menopause, our bodies go through significant change. Like most menopause symptoms, joint pain is typically caused by hormonal imbalance. As menopause approaches, hormone levels begin to fluctuate. The body is prepared to stop the production of oestrogen, progesterone, and other hormones.
Exercise to alleviate Joint Pain
Consider integrating strength training and exercise into your daily routine and create long-lasting habits to improve your joint health.
You may believe that exercising would worsen your joint pain, however, the opposite is true. Lack of physical activity can lead to increased joint pain and stiffness.
Keeping active can improve your health and fitness without hurting your joints. Strength Training exercises:
- Reinforce the muscles around your joints
- Increase bone density and maintain bone strength
- Boost your energy
- Improve your sleep
- Help you maintain a more stable weight
- Improve your body balance
- Boost your mood and your quality of life
That's because keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining support for your bones. When you don´t exercise supporting muscles weaken, creating more stress on your joints.
Check with your doctor
Always consult your doctor if you experience joint pain or if you have any health concerns. Your doctor will be able to perform a physical exam and order any necessary tests to diagnose the exact cause of joint pain and recommend appropriate treatment.
The right exercises for you will depend on your individual joint pain and doctors diagnosis. The Arthritis Foundation says, adding some exercise to your routine releases endorphins which improve overall well-being, ability to control pain, and sleeping habits. Additionally, a study published in the journal Clinics of Geriatric Medicine says people will Osteoarthritis (OA) will benefit from strength training, no matter their age.
At Curves, our strength training and cardio programme is designed specifically for women. A coach by your side can help you and guide you into getting started and discuss the best plan of action for you. Find your nearest club and speak with a coach today, tell us about your joint pain and we can tell you how we can help.