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The connection between dehydration and joint pain

The connection between dehydration and joint pain
3 minutes, 28 seconds

Did you know that dehydration and joint pain are closely related? Most people don’t! If you’re someone who experiences joint pain, you may benefit from learning more about the importance of staying hydrated. To understand more about the causes of joint pain from dehydration and some of the treatment options that exist for those with joint pain, keep reading below.

Why does dehydration cause joint pain?

  • Your joint cartilage is made up of water — Research estimates that around 70% to 80% of your cartilage is made up of water. The cartilage protects your bones from rubbing against each other. When it’s diminished because your body doesn’t receive enough hydration, your bones are more likely to rub against each other.
  • Your synovial fluid is made up of water — The synovial fluid is a fluid that cushions your joints and protects them from grinding against each other. When you don’t supply your body with enough water, the thickness of your synovial fluid declines. Your joints are then more likely to grind against each other, causing pain and discomfort. That’s why when people with arthritis become dehydrated, their joint conditions, like arthritis, often worsen.

Drinking water can reduce joint pain by replenishing your joint cartilage and synovial fluid. If your joints are not hydrated via drinking enough water, your joints will not be properly cushioned. Ensuring that you’re properly hydrated is a good way to protect your joints and bones from rubbing together and can potentially minimize any joint pain you may experience.

What are some treatment options for joint pain?

  • Increase your intake of fluids — Now that you know a little more about the correlation between dehydration and joint pain, you can probably guess that one of the ways you can treat it is by ensuring you remain well hydrated. Increasing your intake of fluids by drinking plenty of water and eating foods that can supplement your hydration is of paramount importance. This can help thicken and lubricate your synovial fluids as well as your cartilage, reducing the severity of your joint pain.
  • Seek care from a physical therapist — Seeking the care of a local physical therapist can potentially help your joint pain. Therapists can help you use techniques to support your joints and work out stiffness that may be worsened by prolonged inactivity. They can even help you reverse the loss or absence of mobility in a joint. While there isn’t any official cure for joint pain, your symptoms can be managed with the use of physical therapy. Therapists can develop a personalized treatment plan that can address the root cause of your joint pain and any other physical conditions that may be ailing you. 
  • Use NSAIDs — Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce the pain you may experience from thin joint cartilage and synovial fluid, and it can also help reduce joint inflammation. If you participate in an activity that makes your joint pain worsen, you can take NSAIDs to help reduce the pain and inflammation.
  • Get your aerobic exercise in — Getting regular movement and exercise in can be especially difficult when you’re dealing with joint pain. You can integrate more exercise into your daily routine through aerobic exercise like walking, swimming and bicycling, which may place less stress on your joints.
  • Make changes to your lifestyle — Another treatment method for those with joint pain is to make some changes to your lifestyle if certain factors in your lifestyle may be contributing to your pain. This can include quitting smoking, losing excess weight, improving your posture and being sure to get plenty of movement each day.

Each of these treatment methods has the potential to increase the mobilization of your joints, meaning they could potentially help you move your joints with better ease and comfort. If you’re experiencing joint pain, give each of these methods a go and see what they can do for you.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for joint pain caused by dehydration

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address joint pain caused by dehydration. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.

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