Joint and muscle pain with hypothyroidism

When I do a first consultation with someone with an underactive thyroid, it is common for them to mention joint and muscle pains among their most troublesome symptoms.  They may suffer disturbed sleep, find their activities restricted by pain and weakness and be taking stronger and stronger painkillers with limited improvement.  Symptoms they commonly report include:

  • GENERALISED MUSCLE ACHES, sometimes with weakness
  • STIFF & PAINFUL JOINTS, often hips or shoulders

They often also have a diagnosis of a more specific localised musculo-skeletal problem, such as:

  • CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME in which numbness or tingling of the fingers arises, due to nerve compression
  • PLANTAR FASCIITIS, heel pain due to inflamed tissue under the sole of the foot
  • TENDONITIS, inflammation of a tendon which joins a muscle to a bone

Joint and muscle pain with hypothyroidism – what is the link?

An underactive thyroid is often associated with widespread inflammation that may result in joint and muscle pain in some individuals.  Fluid retention too can be part of hypothyroidism and can add to swelling and pain.  Weight gain is common with an underactive thyroid and can exacerbate joint pains too.

If your hypothyroidism is autoimmune (which means your own immune system is attacking and weakening your thyroid), you are at increased risk of other autoimmune conditions, some of which have joint and muscle pains among their symptoms  (see related conditions below)

 How can homeopathy help?

 1. Treating yourself with homeopathic remedies for pain relief

There are many homeopathic remedies that can ease muscle and joint pain.  There are some of these which you could try yourself to see if they bring relief.  The commonest remedies to consider are listed below.  Read on to decide which one matches your symptoms best.  Buy it in a 6c strength and take it morning and evening for a couple of weeks (but don’t continue longer if you haven’t noticed any improvement).

RHUS TOX – pain or stiffness which is worst when you have been still or asleep and eases with some gentle movement.  This may well make you restless and fidgety.  Pain may also be worse in cold, damp weather and better in a warm bath

ARNICA – a bruised or aching pain which is exhausting but you may claim to be “fine”

BRYONIA – pain which is worse for any movement and better for keeping completely still.  You may well be irritable when the pain is bad and have constipation or a headache.

 2. Consulting a homeopath for in depth treatment

If none of these remedies sounds right or you try one but it doesn’t help, be aware that there are also thousands of other possible remedies available to a professional homeopath.

A homeopath could look in much greater depth at the underlying reasons for your pain and select treatment for your individual needs.   

Overall endocrine balance, gut health and emotional stresses could all be taken into consideration.

Read Mary’s story of knee and hip pain and how treatment with me helped.

If you would like to learn more, please book a free introductory call so we can discuss your individual symptoms and you can then decide whether you would like to book a full consultation or not.

Other self help measures

Meanwhile here are some things you can do yourself which may help with your pain:

  • OPTIMISE THYROID HORMONE LEVELS – ask your doctor to check that all your thyroid hormones are at ideal levels and adjust your medication if not
  • GET YOUR VITAMIN D LEVEL CHECKED – deficiency is common and can cause joint stiffness and pain
  • FOOD SENSITIVITIES – consider whether you may have any.  A gluten-free diet reduces joint and muscle pain in many people with a diagnosis of under-active thyroid.  Avoid any other foods you know you are sensitive to and keep a food diary to look for links between what you have eaten and days when your pain is worse
  • LOW IMPACT EXERCISE – add some to your weekly routine to maintain flexibility and start to build muscle to support weak joints.  Yoga and swimming are good options.
  • EPSOM SALT BATHS are soothing for aching muscles and stiff joints.  Add a cup full to the water running into your bath, soak for 20 minutes and then rinse off.

Other related conditions that could be causing your pain

If pain persists, you may wish to ask your doctor to consider whether you could in fact have another autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, which is characterised by painful and swollen joints.  Symptoms also commonly overlap with fibromyalgia, a condition of widespread pain often with fatigue.   Your GP may refer you to a rheumatologist to consider these other diagnoses.

Wondering about homeopathic treatment as you have joint and muscle pain with hypothyroidism?

I would be pleased to discuss this with you and answer any questions.  Please book a free 20 minute call for this.