Menopause and the Musculoskeletal System

Posted on: Sep 13th, 2022 by Belinda Brown | Categories: Women's Health

Menopause and the Musculoskeletal System


What is menopause?

Menopause is a time mark in a woman’s life, where they are no longer able to reproduce offspring.  In turn, during this period women no longer produce Oestrogen and Progesterone, due to ceased ovulation. Most commonly, menopause impacts women between the ages of 45-55 years.


What impact does this then have on a Woman’s body?

The musculoskeletal system is largely impacted due to the decrease in Oestrogen and Progesterone. 

Since Oestrogen plays a large part in our bones and connective tissues, a reduction in this hormone can impact our:

  • Bone health 
  • Muscles 
  • Ligaments 
  • Tendons 
  • Cartilage 

Some conditions that have been associated with low levels of this hormone include Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, and Sarcopenia. 

Here’s How:


Since Oestrogen plays a role in bone formation, menopausal women can be susceptible to a bone condition known as Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is when the bone becomes weak and brittle, therefore being more prone to fracture. It’s important to note that the most important way to maintain bone health is through appropriate exercise and an active lifestyle. There are 3 types of exercises that are recommended by Healthy Bones Australia, and these include:

  • Weight-bearing activity e.g. step up
  • Resistance training e.g. squat 
  • Balance exercise e.g., single-leg balance



Osteoarthritis is associated with a decline in joint cartilage due to estrogen deficiency. Symptoms associated with this condition include:

  • Pain,
  • Swelling,
  • Joint sounds (clicking, cracking), and  
  • Joint stiffness.

It is important to note that land-based and water-based activities are the best way to stay active in order to assist with painful symptoms.



Sarcopenia is defined as skeletal muscle deficiency, associated with the aging process and hormone reduction. Keeping active through lower limb strengthening exercises, is one of the most beneficial ways to reduce pain for this particular condition. Some of these exercises can include:

  • Squats or sit to stands, 
  • Lunges,
  • Calf raises, and
  • Standing marching. 

Take Home Message

Menopause is a natural process of aging with associated hormone decline, and therefore results in multiple conditions. It is a time of great unknowns and can be a very individual experience that not all women are able to confidently prepare for. Therefore, our Women’s Health Physiotherapist cannot stress enough how important it is to keep active during these times. If you are seeking further professional advice regarding appropriate exercise prescription, Gemma is here to help you!

Call us on 1300 TPM FIT, and we can assist you throughout the process.  


Further educational information can be found via the following links:



Physiotherapy Townsville - The Physio Movement


     517 Flinders Street
Townsville City Qld 4810
     1300 TPM FIT or 4740 4516
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