Joint pain is a common complaint in the UK, particularly among menopausal women. In fact, more than 50 percent report joint pains and aches. Women seeking relief from their symptoms, however, are often confronted with conflicting advice. Doctor Anne Henderson, consultant gynaecologist and accredited menopause expert, explains how one compound in the plant may offer relief from menopausal joint pain.
Treatment for pain, however, is currently limited to anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen.
According to the World Health Organisation, more than 80 percent of the world’s population resort to herbal remedies as their first line of defence.
Doctor Henderson explained: “It is important to consider a full spectrum of treatment options including lifestyle changes, diet and exercise, but also herbal medicine and supplements that are backed by scientific evidence.”
Rose-hip extract, in particular, may help ease menopause symptoms.
They are packed with bioflavonoids, which have been shown to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
Beyond helping protect against inflammation in the joint, however, rosehip has also been shown to have cooling effects, which may counter hot flush.
“Rose-hip extracts have been studied in multiple scientific trials, mostly for their cartilage protecting properties,” added Henderson.
“The active compounds found in rose-hip, in particular the galactolipids, known as GOPO, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties which can relieve pain, whilst some clinical studies show it was as effective as taking paracetamol.”
Some studies have shown that BMD levels can drop by up to 25 percent in the five to seven years following the onset of menopause.
Lifestyle habits, and diet, in particular, have been shown to delay these effects, however.
Pulses, fish, meat and eggs are examples of food sources of protein, which can help build muscle mass and offload pressure on the joints.
Henderson added: “Drinking plenty of water also helps to retain joint flexibility, whilst staying active strengthens supporting muscles and keeps excess weight at bay – reducing the impact on load-bearing joints.”