M = Menopause.
The end of a woman’s reproductive years and the start of a new phase of life. Whilst that’s a constant, each woman’s menopausal transition is unique, bringing with it a range of symptoms due to the bodies hormonal changes.
For some women, these symptoms can include hot flushes, headaches, mood changes and insomnia. All the symptoms that exhibit the reduction of Estrogen in the female body.
Did you know that physiotherapy can help ease some of the symptoms of menopause? In this blog article, the team at Brisbane Spine Clinic explain the physiotherapy treatment options available to you.
Diagnosis of menopause typical ages during which it occurs – the 40s and 50s – though, of course, exceptions exist. Menopause is often a gradual-onset condition, meaning that it’s a little easier to identify as its happening.
Menopause is preceded by the perimenopause – the period during which the final decline of Estrogen and regular biological function occurs. This tends to span years and is the first sign of symptoms, some of which may include:
- Poor sleep quality
- Hot flushes
- Irregular periods
- Tenderness in primary and secondary sexual tissues
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Non-specific joint and muscle ache
- Mood swings and unexplained mood problems
- Discomfort during sex and loss of sex drive
- Incontinence and reduced control over the bladder
- Weight gain
- Reduced bone density and increased injury risk
- Exaggerated or prolonged pre-menstrual stress/tension
These are relatively common and unproblematic symptoms – they may be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but they are normal side-effects and shouldn’t raise too much alarm. A good time to have the conversation with your physician to receive some support.
Treatment Options for Menopause – Physiotherapy
You might not think it, but menopause symptoms are a great time to commit to exercise and physiotherapy. The menopause may expose you to a number of health problems that can be counteracted with lifestyle and proper healthcare.
Weight and Bones
Weight management is the first place to start – it can negatively affect your confidence and overall health. Physiotherapy treatment can include a mixture of joint health and exercise to combat obesity and to help keep you in shape.
Physiotherapy and exercise programming can also provide a healthy, natural alternative to medications for dealing with osteoporosis – a real problem when bone density starts decreasing. Menopause and the loss of Estrogen weaken the bones, whereas carefully-planned and guided resistance training can improve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures.
Weight and bone density are key factors in your long-term health – falls and fractures are common problems for post-menopausal women, while obesity is a catch-all health risk. Simply reducing the risk of these two problems is likely to mean a far better life in the short- and long-term.
Combatting Aches and Pains
During menopause, you’re likely to experience a variety of aches and pains associated with the changes to your hormones and, consequently, your muscles and joints.
Our women’s health physiotherapy can help you catch these problems early and treating them with effective rehabilitation and pain-relief physiotherapy may help to stop these problems before they start.
Menopause is an uncomfortable time of transition – you’re going to experience significant differences within your body. You’re not at the mercy of these changes and taking an active role in your own health and wellbeing is going to drastically improve your quality of life now and into the foreseeable future.
Physiotherapy isn’t just about fixing injuries – it’s about providing the best quality of life possible through quality healthcare. If you’re expecting the change or you’re already there, it’s not too late to get in touch.
We’ve got extensive experience with women’s physiotherapy and our guidance can keep you healthier and happier through these challenging times. We’d love to hear from you and discuss the best way to improve your wellbeing!
Please note, this blog is general in nature and we do recommend talking to your general practitioner who may then refer to you one of our physiotherapists here at The Brisbane Spine Clinic.