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Menopause and Physiotherapy

Can you name something that impacts more than half of the UK population during their working lives, causing brain fog, insomnia, anxiety and joint pain? Something which nine out of ten of those experiencing it say has negatively impacted their work?

The menopause affects 13 million women in the UK at any one time and usually occurs between the ages of 45-55 but can be earlier, either naturally or after certain surgeries. Menopause is not a disease or illness but a natural stage in a woman’s life when she stops having menstrual periods. This happens when the ovaries no longer release an egg each month and production of the hormone oestrogen declines.

The perimenopause or menopausal transition refers to period before the menopause. It may be when you first start to experience menopausal symptoms due to hormone changes but are still having periods. For some women the perimenopause may only be a few months but for others it can be several years.

The significant hormonal changes that occur in the body at this point can cause profound changes in a women’s health shown in the diagram above but can also cause:

  • physical aches and pains

  • reduction in bone density

  • strength and balance

  • weight gain

  • hot flushes

  • insomnia and depressed mood

  • pelvic floor muscle weakness

  • urinary and faecal incontinence

  • pelvic organ prolapse

  • painful intercourse

The one thing we do know is that a woman’s experience of menopausal symptoms is personal and individual but the good news is there are lots of things that can be done to help.

If you continue to struggle with your symptoms speak to your GP / healthcare professional. They can discuss several options and whether a topical (local) oestrogen, which has to be prescribed, is appropriate for you. They may also refer you to a specialist doctor (urogynaecologist / gynaecologist)

Menopause and Physiotherapy What we do know is that you will benefit from:

  • lots of sleep

  • a good diet

  • exercise.

Physiotherapists, as movement experts are well placed to advise you on the best exercise programmes for this period of your life and particularly around maintaining a healthy bony skeleton.

There may also be other symptoms which act as a barrier to exercise such as symptoms of bladder leakage when you exercise or a feeling of heaviness in the vagina.

Menopause and exercise

The three main components of exercise for bone health (and many other aspects of health) are:

  • Resistance training for your muscles - When we contract muscles, they pull on our bones and we know this is very good for healthy bones.

  • Plyometric exercise or exercises which increase speed, endurance, and strength, will also help your bones.

  • Exercises which improve your balance are important as it helps to prevent you from falling and hurting your bones

Starting with small steps the physiotherapist can advise you on a programme of safe exercises. If you’re looking for friendly women’s health physiotherapists get in touch with our team at Top To Toe Physiotherapy. We aim to empower women who visit our clinic to take back

control of the symptoms affecting them. Our experienced team treats a range of issues, working closely with you to get you feeling better everyday.

Top To Toe Physiotherapy - Womens Health Specialist Physiotherapists:

Laura Swarbrick Kelly Rotheram

Useful resources:

By Kelly Rotheram

June 2023

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lokesh soni
lokesh soni
Aug 03, 2023

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