Many women experience joint and muscle pain and stiffness around the time of menopause - that they hadn't experienced before. Because there are estrogen receptors all over the body, including the joints, declining hormone levels can add to pain caused by inflammation, general wear and tear, and just plain aging. There are many causes of joint pain and hormones are only one aspect, so it is impossible to pinpoint hormones as the sole cause.
The best way to keep joints healthy and flexible is to use them. As we get older, our activity levels decline, our weight goes up and joint stiffness begins. It is never too late to reverse this cycle. Yoga or formal stretching time is a great way to improve flexibility and pump the synovial fluid around the joint. When a women is active and flexible, and the pain persists, her doctor can decide if hormone replacement has a role in improving the symptoms.