Effects of the menopause on the neuromusculoskeletal system: a narrative review
The ageing process alters the neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) system, and these changes increase as women go through the menopause and begin the next stage of their lives. This paper reviews research on this topic; however, in some areas, the published evidence is sparse and can be contradictory. Age-related changes and the effect of reduced levels of oestrogen on the spinal motor neurons, skeletal muscle, connective tissue and bone are discussed. The pelvic floor muscles, the role that these play in continence and the function of oestrogen in maintaining the integrity of the pelvic floor complex are addressed. Some management strategies for the NMS system are also outlined.
Keywords: menopause, neuromusculoskeletal system, osteoporosis, pelvic floor, sarcopenia.