Most people have heard of the hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings associated with Menopause, but not nearly as many know about the darker underside of sudden-onset Joint Pain for many women at mid-life. Previously active women may find themselves leading dramatically limited lives, where the simplest activities – walking, sitting down, playing with one’s child or grandchild, negotiating stairways, combing one’s hair – become excruciating or altogether impossible. Careers are impacted and relationships may change dramatically as one’s fundamental ability to care for oneself decreases. For many women who experience this sudden and dramatic change at mid-life, chronic pain, depression, or anxiety may become constant companions.
From one online Menopause forum, Linda C. says:
…Feet, back, knees, neck, fingers. Every Joint in my body that can hurt, does… Sometimes I just want to give up because it hurts so bad… I’m 59 years old and (have) been going through this for 6 yrs.
There are currently no available statistics specifically for women’s Menopausal Joint Pain, as it may be diagnosed as Osteoporosis, OsteoArthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Gout, or Fibromyalgia. Further complicating the issue is that often the aforementioned conditions begin occurring at mid-life regardless of Menopause, and so the statistics gathered reflect both genders and all age groups, typically with a footnote that women are more prone to these conditions than men. However, it is still relevant to consider these statistics, if only to get a broad overview of the scope of Joint Pain in this country.
- 52.5 million people were diagnosed with Arthritis between 2010 and 2012. Of these 52.5 million, 43% reported limitations in activities due to their Arthritis.
- 47.5 million people reported a disability in a 2005 CDC study, with 18% claiming Arthritis or rheumatism as the reason. This makes Arthritis the most common cause of disability in this country. Adults who reported these limitations cited climbing a flight of stairs or walking 3 city blocks as being most difficult. This translates as 1 in 10 adults having difficulty in walking from a large parking lot to a store entrance.
- Medical costs attributed to Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2005 were 22.3 billion dollars.
- Overall costs attributed to Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2005 were 39.2 billion dollars. This includes costs to patients, employers, family members, and the government.
- Fibromyalgia statistics reveal patients pay an average of $3400 to $3600 per year in medical costs.
- 632,000 Joint replacements are performed each year due to osteoarthritis.
- It is estimated that half the population will develop osteoarthritis in their lifetime.
If roughly half the population is estimated to develop osteoarthritis as they age, and women (who make up roughly half the population of the United States ) are known to develop these conditions more frequently, this certainly bodes ill for women entering their Menopausal years.
Kath S. writes on a Menopausal forum online I wake up in the night with soreness in my hips and shoulders so bad I can’t even roll over. My upper legs and hips are tight all the time. During the day when I sit for a period of time, getting myself straightened up and moving is a task in itself. I have been to a rheumatologist and had every test. They say everything looks fine, (and I am) healthy as a horse. My husband always called me his Clydesdale. I am not a sitter. They say it’s not Fibromyalgia but that my muscles are constricted. I, too, have been going to a massage therapist for deep-tissue massage which helps for a couple of days, but after that, it’s back to the same pain. I do not want to deal with this on a day to day routine… My hands, inside elbows, knees, hip, shoulders and buttocks are always in terrible pain. I feel like a 47 year old trapped in an 80 year old body.
As previously mentioned, there are a number of different diagnoses that can be given for Joint Pain, and a variety of different Joint disease processes to consider. Dr. Alan N. Baer, a Rheumatology Specialist at Johns Hopkins Good Samaritan Hospital, states that Joint Pain may arise “from inflammation, cartilage degeneration, crystal deposition, infection, or trauma.”
Once a differential diagnosis is obtained, a physician may request the following lab tests:
- For suspected rheumatic disease: Gram Stain, Compensated Polarized Light Microscopy, Radiography, Antinuclear Antibody Test. (ANA)
- For potential inflammatory arthritic conditions: Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), C-Reactive Protein (CRP), Rheumatoid Factor (RF) and Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibody (CCP), and Antinuclear Antibody Test (ANA).
- To screen for acute polyArthritis: blood cultures, Antistreptolysin O Titer, Parvovirus B-19 Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and Immunoglobulin M (IgM) Levels, Hepatitis B Serology, ANA.
- To screen for chronic polyArthritis: complete blood count (CBC), ESR and CRP levels, ANA, RF and CCP Antibody, chemistry profile with liver function tests (LFT) and Serum Creatinine Level, Serum, Uric Acid Level, and Urinalysis.
- Screening for diffuse arthralgias and myalgias may include: ESR and CRP levels, Creatine Kinase and Aldolase Levels, thyroid testing, and chemistry profile to exclude metabolic or endocrine disorders.
Current allopathic treatments often begin with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as Indomethacin, Ibuprofen, or Diclofenac. Care must be taken in regards to dosage and long term effects, which may include bleeding ulcers and stomach upset, high blood pressure, fluid retention, kidney problems, heart problems, or rashes.
Corticosteroids are also regularly prescribed,especially for patients who are unable to tolerate NSAIDs. These may include intramuscular injection (Triamcinolone Acetonide), intra-articular corticosteroid therapy (Hyaluronan), and/or Prednisone. Long term side effects of these drugs may include the following: ulcers and GI bleeding, increased risk of heart disease, infection, easily bruised skin and slow healing of wounds, and quite significantly, decreased bone density and osteoarthritis!
Chronic inflammatory conditions may require further intervention than the above options. Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as Methotrexate or Leflunomide are used to try and prevent or retard Joint damage and/or deformity. Side effects may include mouth sores, diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting, and rashes. However more serious side effects may include allergic reaction, liver damage, kidney damage, bone marrow damage, and a limited ability to ward off infections.
For suspected Fibromyalgia, screening is done for depression and sleep disorders (with appropriate prescriptions as treatment), along with recommendations for exercise and/or avoidance of activities that cause pain. Oral analgesics may be prescribed, NSAIDs, corticosteroids, and/or muscle relaxants.
Beyond these options lies Joint replacement surgery.
Though many of these treatments may offer pain relief, given the potential severity of the long term effects of standard pharmaceutical interventions, is it any wonder the number of Joint replacement surgeries is so high in our country?
What about the Menopausal aspect of Joint Pain? Where might the Menopausal experience fit into this puzzle of mid-life bone and Joint Pain?
Menopause is defined by the Mayo Clinic as the part of a woman’s life cycle which occurs twelve months after the last menstrual period, marking the end of a woman’s fertility. Menopause may arrive in one’s forties or fifties, however the typical age in the US is fifty-one.
Menopausal women may experience no at all, or they may include any or all of the following:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of libido
- Increased irritability and Mood Swings
- Hair loss or thinning
- Sleep disorders
- Struggling to concentrate
- Poor memory
- Weight gain
- Brittle Nails
- Body odor changes
- Irregular heartbeat
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Breast pain
- Burning sensation in the tongue
- Electrical shocking sensations prior to hot flashes
- Digestive issues
- Gum issues
- Muscle tension
- Itching skin and the sensation of “creepy-crawly skin”
- Tingling in hands and feet
- Joint Pain
When a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs, estrogen and progesterone (the primary hormones produced by the ovaries) also begin to decline. These changes in hormone production are considered to be the underlying cause of Menopausal symptoms.Other causes,such as hysterectomy or chemotherapy/radiation lie outside the scope of this paper.
The role of estrogen in proper bone growth and maintenance is well established. In an article by M. Neale Weitsmann and Roberto Pacific called Estrogen Deficiency and Bone Loss: an Inflammatory Tale the authors discuss the process by which loss of estrogen leads directly to the lessening of renewal in bone growth and regeneration. Over time, if the loss of estrogen is significant enough, osteoporosis can result. While a woman is still producing estrogen (specifically 17 Beta Estradiol, the predominant type of estrogen produced by the ovaries ), it acts to inhibit the breakdown of bone at a cellular level. The presence of 17 Beta Estradiol plays a major role in protecting bone regeneration, and thus, bone density.
Many women are offered Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)at Menopause for their Joint Pain. Allopathic methods rely on synthetic hormones, typically Premarin (estrogen) and Provera (progesterone).
Premarin made its debut in the early 1940’s, and since that time over thirty billion doses have been dispensed. Today Premarin is highly controversial. In a post by Terry Graedon on The People’s Pharmacy website, he tracks the various studies that have been done over the years. First one study claims that women who were treated with Premarin alone are not at higher risk for hormone related risks, then the next, bigger study, claims that they are, and significantly so. Then women are told that, no, it’s only the estrogen alone that is the issue, but when given with progesterone then there is no great risk. And then that study too, gets demolished when a new study comes out confirming otherwise.
Confusion continues to run high, and so are the stakes. The risks involved with HRT include heart disease, stroke, blood clotting, and breast cancer. In fact, Breastcancer.org reveals the following statistics on their site:
- Women using combination HRT (estrogen and progesterone) for 10-15 years are 88% more likely to develop invasive breast cancer.
- Women using combination HRT for 15-20 years are 150% more likely to develop invasive breast cancer.
One would assume that HRT would no longer be an option in treating women with painful Menopausal symptoms, yet this is not the case. There are no recent statistics online for how often HRT is currently prescribed, however, in data collected through the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, between 1988 and 1994, 44% of post Menopausal women were actively using standard Hormone Replacement Therapy.
My Joint Pains coincided soon after starting estrogen recently. I’m active and fit, 47, but now with knees especially, I just can’t move them for some time after waking because of the pain. (I have) Joint Pain and stiffness all over after sleep, but inner knees are the worst. I was thinking, of course, that it was a side effect of the estrogen pills, but see that others (on this forum) not on any type of HRT are also in pain.
Not all women are willing to take HRT for their Joint Pain. In subsequent years, as the risks of traditional HRT have become clearer, more natural hormonal replacements called Bioidentical Hormones have been developed. Many women have turned to these in an effort to support their body’s transition into Menopause in a more holistic way.
By definition, Bioidentical Hormones are substances which are exactly the same in chemical and molecular makeup as those which the body produces. And yet, these products are also not without controversy. According to an article by Harvard Health Publications, there simply are no long term trials that have been conducted using Bioidenticals, so there is no actual proof that the risks associated with synthetic drugs are not also potential possibilities with the Bioidenticals.
Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, a proponent of Bioidentical Hormones, states that hormones have an important role to play in Fibromyalgia and Joint Pain, specifically, how estrogen and progesterone impact brain chemistry and pain regulation in the nervous system. Her conclusion is that the loss of these hormones, especially at Menopause, appears to be a constant underlying condition in patients suffering from Fibromyalgia. She makes a powerful argument in support of Bioidentical Hormone supplementation when she states the following:
Why have we had in the United States this “cookbook” approach, with the same Premarin-Provera “recipe” for all post Menopausal women? We do not use the same dose of blood pressure medication for everyone with high blood pressure or the same dose of insulin for all diabetics. Yet, I estimate that over the last fifteen years of my medical practice, nine out of every ten women I’ve seen who were already taking hormone therapy were on 0.625mg of Premarin for twenty five days a month, and 5 or 10mg of Provera for days 16-25 every month. Some women said they felt wonderful; others described having “nothing but problems” since starting on these hormones. I was bothered by the fact that every woman I saw was on the same dose and type of hormones, and since not everyone was feeling well on them, I began to ask more questions.
It appears likely that with proper testing and dosages, Bioidentical Hormones may be a good fit for many women experiencing Joint Pain at Menopause , and yet, as stated above, the long term risks have yet to be determined.
Further complicating the issue is the lack of communication between Rheumatologists and Gynocologists. One doctor using Bioidentical Hormones stated that his Rheumatology colleague laughed at him outright when he so much as mentioned the possible connection between estrogen deficiency and Joint Pain.
Seeking care and support for their symptoms, women often find themselves going to one doctor after another. Often they are not heard in the traditional medical world. In an online Menopause forum, Sue R. states:
Three months after my periods stopped, my feet started to hurt so much in the evening I would limp. My legs also lost strength. I have been to a regular doctor, pain management doctor, chiropractor, and a foot surgeon. I have had an MRI and X-rays on my feet. I have also been to a neurosurgeon and he did a nerve test with negative results. They found nothing wrong. I have had this for 15 months now. I bought shoe inserts ($200) and expensive tennis shoes… It is so disheartening to go to one doctor after another and they all think you are crazy.
Given the amount of variables at play in the complex transition of Menopause, there is simply no one thing in allopathic or alternative healing methods that works across the board for everyone. However, women around the world are coming together in online forums to support each other in finding solutions for their symptoms, their pain, and the struggles they face. Listed below are a sampling of the holistic recommendations made by individual women online over the years on several Menopausal forums, according to type of recommendation:
Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamin D, Magnesium, B-12, Ferritin, Calcium, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, GABA, Potassium, Vitamin E, Malic Acid, Zinc, and MSM.
Vitamin D, Magnesium, B-12, Ferritin, Calcium, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, GABA, Potassium, Vitamin E, Malic Acid, Zinc, and MSM.
Over the Counter Supplements: Dermal Therapy Heel Care Cream, Traumeel Homeopathic Ointment, MacaFem, Sam-E, and D-Ribose.
Dietary Recommendations: Cut out all sweets, carbs, and salt from the diet. Include lots of good Omega 3 fish oils. Increase water intake. Cut all grains, dairy, soy, caffeine, iodine, and all processed foods. Eat no sulfates. Do the Elimination Diet. Eat naturally phytoestrogenic foods.
Physical Activities: Walk, swim, get massages, especially deep tissue massage. Get physical therapy to stretch the muscles. Get rid of your memory-foam mattress.
The women on these forums made these recommendations based upon what gave them full or partial relief from their pain. Full relief was rarely posted. It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, however a predominant number of the posts indicated only partial relief.
What if there was a comprehensive, safe, and effective treatment for Menopausal Joint Pain? What if this treatment was all natural and didn’t require women to twist themselves into dietary pretzels, or go to doctor after doctor in an endless pursuit of pain relief? And what if this treatment was available today, right now?
It is, and it’s called The Trivedi Effect®.
The Trivedi Effect®
The Trivedi Effect® is Energy. More specifically, it is high frequency, Universal Energy being harnessed and directed for the purpose of reconnecting one to one’s Divinely created original template.
Before disease processes.
Before our beliefs and social conditioning took us down the wrong road.
The Trivedi Effect® initiates a return to our own Source, our own true inner guidance system so that we can rediscover a natural flow and harmony within our life, our health, and our relationships. In fact, all aspects of one’s life and consciousness are completely transformed through receiving this Divine Biofield Energy.
This may sound impossible. It may sound like just another New Age marketing scheme. However, for the first time in human history, Science and Spirituality are meeting in laboratories across the world and proving beyond doubt that The Trivedi Effect® is real, that it is powerful, and that it has the ability to transform our lives and our world for the better.
This Intelligent, Biofield Energy has a cumulative effect, so the more one receives the Energy, the deeper and more profound the transformation that can unfold in one’s life and health. One of the first tangible things people often notice after receiving Biofield Energy Treatments is that sleep becomes deep and satisfying. For women suffering from Menopausal Joint Pain, just rolling over at night can be extremely painful, with disturbed sleep a chronic result. This alone is extremely significant for anyone suffering from Joint Pain or Arthritis, and is especially relevant for women in their Menopausal years who are experiencing any kind of arthritic condition, whether it’s labeled Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, or Gout.
Other shifts and changes people notice include feeling happier, more connected, and having a deeper sense of well-being overall. Often this radiates outward, like a cup overflowing, to others in one’s environment so that they, too, begin to notice changes for the better in themselves and their lives. This is called The Ripple Effect,and is one of the powerful hallmarks of The Trivedi Effect®.
If you are currently suffering from Menopausal Joint Pain, and have struggled in the allopathic and alternative health world, take heart, for there is help and support available right now. There are currently several programs one can choose from to receive Biofield Energy Treatments either one time, or on an ongoing basis. For more information about the different programs available for healing, click here.
We are collectively on the threshold of a new world, a new science that has the ability to optimize not only bones and Joints, but our minds, emotions, overall health, vitality, and most importantly, our connection to the Divine.