The thyroid gland is a 2-inch butterfly-shaped gland situated at the base of your neck that controls the way your body uses energy for day-to-day functions. Simple enough! But, do you know what changes take place in your body when the activity of this gland slows down and it stops functioning normally?    

The condition wherein your thyroid gland becomes underactive is called hypothyroidism. People with hypothyroidism have slow metabolism due to less thyroid hormone being produced.  More women are plagued by this condition than men. Apart from the usual symptoms of weight gain, tiredness, and hair loss, many people suffer from painful joints - a less known but troublesome symptom of hypothyroidism. 

Joint problems that you may face if you have hypothyroidism

 old mother on walker holding hands of her daughter=
Here are three glitches that hypothyroidism can give to your joints:

  • Stiffness and tenderness in the hip and shoulder muscles
  • Swelling in the small joints of the hands and feet
  • Pain, numbness and tingling in the hands (Carpal Tunnel syndrome)

What causes joint pain in hypothyroidism?

 man holding his knees=
When you have hypothyroidism, your metabolism goes for a toss. That is, your body is not able to burn the food you eat efficiently. This results in a fluid build-up that leads to painful and swollen joints.

What can you do to get relief from the excruciating joint pains?

Follow the steps below to get relief from the debilitating pain of your joints:

1. Step up your activity with low-impact aerobics

 woman stretching=
Indulge in 20-60 minutes of daily aerobics to get relief from joint pain. Talk to your doctor first before trying out any new exercise. Here are a few low-impact aerobic exercises:

  • Walking
  • Stationary bicycling
  • Water aerobics
  • Swimming
  • Elliptical trainer
  • Strength training

2. Snooze that alarm

 woman sleeping in pain=
A good night’s sleep can help your joints recover from pain and stiffness. Sleep deprivation leaves you feeling stressed. Stress will further worsen your joint pain. Ensure that you get seven to eight hours of restful sleep every day. Try to do some stretching and relaxation exercises one hour before going to bed for relaxed sleep.

3. Stop ‘junking’ out

 cirtus fruits and veggies that help relief pain=
Every time you reach out for that bag of potato chips, stop yourself! Frequent binging on junk foods is known to worsen joint pain and increase muscle inflammation. Make joint-friendly nutrients such as omega 3 fats a part of your daily diet. Salmon, green leafy vegetables, eggs, fruits, walnuts and flax seeds are good for your joints.

4. Make yoga a part of your routine

 woam doing yopga to get relief pain=
Yoga is great for increasing joint flexibility and relieving stiff joints. If done correctly, it has a calming effect on inflamed joints and helps with muscle strengthening. Join a yoga class or follow self-help videos to get a hang of various yoga poses. Talk to your physician to ascertain whether yoga is safe for you.

5. Meditate your stress away

 stressed woman=
Meditation is known to relieve pain symptoms and relieve stress in people with hypothyroidism. Meditation techniques focus on breathing and distracting your mind away from the pain.

Also, remember that timely treatment of hypothyroidism can help cure your joint pain. While this may not happen immediately, it is important to be regular with your thyroid medicines and lifestyle changes. So, don’t let muscle pain dull your shine!

For any query related to joint pain and hypothyroidism you can consult a Thyroid Specialist at Ask a Doctor 24x7.

Recently Answered Queries Related to Thyroid and Associated Concerns.

Disclaimer: Information provided on this page is not intended to substitute for proper medical advice provided by your healthcare professional. This is only for informational purposes. 

About the Author

Neha Garg

Neha Garg is a clinical dietician and health writer with an outstanding academic and clinical background. A post-graduate from the prestigious Lady Irwin College, she was also a Delhi University topper. With a work experience spanning more than a decade, she has worked for renowned healthcare organizations such as Indraprastha Apollo Hospital and HealthifyMe. An avid reader and health enthusiast, she also develops customized diet plans along with personal diet consultations. Presently, she is working with EbixCash as a senior medical writer.

5 + 7 + 1 =

Recent Questions