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How Dehydration Affects Your Joints

How Dehydration Affects Your Joints
How Dehydration Affects Your Joints

Did you know your arthritis can suffer unexpected consequences if you don't drink enough fluids? It is common to experience increased joint pain during the summer, but drinking water daily can prevent joint pain caused by dehydration.

Your joints are cushioned and nourished by synovial fluid that is created by water. Your synovial fluid reduces friction between your joints. When you are dehydrated, you have a decrease in synovial fluid and therefore an increase in joint pain.

Additionally, cartilage contains 65 to 80 percent water, so drinking enough water is important to keep it healthy. 1 Drinking water helps the cartilage regenerate and lubricate, reducing joint inflammation. Cartilage protects your bones by preventing them from rubbing against each other and allows us to move. Staying hydrated keeps the tissue and cartilage in your joints healthy.

So, how much water should we be drinking?

Water makes up up to 60% of our bodies. Water is lost continuously through our skin, urine, waste, and sweat. A healthy diet provides about 20% of our daily fluid intake while drinking liquids give us the rest.2

Following CDC guidelines, men should drink 3.7 liters of fluid daily, while women should consume 2.7 liters.3 That is roughly 13 glasses of water for men and 9 for women. Fluids should increase in extreme heat, illness, or exercise. If you drink before you feel thirsty, you will avoid dehydration.

Eating a diet rich in certain fruits and vegetables can also help with hydration. Foods such as celery, lettuce, zucchini, and watermelon are high in water and can help hydrate. You can reduce joint pain by applying ice or cold compresses to achy joints, elevating your hands, and exercising lightly and gently to avoid stiffness.

Make the most of the summer months and avoid joint pain and dehydration. Dr. Daneca DiPaolo is here to help you optimize your health goals and get out of pain. Schedule an appointment today if you are dealing with chronic joint issues.

Dr. Daneca DiPaolo is a highly-skilled, board-certified orthopedic surgeon and hand specialist located in Grenada, Mississippi. She offers the latest orthopedic techniques and provides quality, compassionate, state of the art orthopedic care.

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

3. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db242.htm

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons - AAOS
  • Mississippi State Medical Association
  • Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand