Dehydration can exacerbate chronic muscle and joint pain, slow healing and increase the chance of injury. Water helps moisturize the discs between the vertebrae of the spine and prevents tendons, ligaments, and muscles from contracting and stiffening. Around 70 to 80% of joint cartilage is made up of water, so it's no surprise that a lack of hydration is associated with joint pain. Here's everything you need to know about dehydration and arthritis, and how to make sure you drink enough water to control joint pain and stay safe during the summer.
CreakyJoints is a digital community for millions of arthritis patients and caregivers around the world seeking education, support, promotion and patient-centered research. Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which are diuretics, can cause dehydration, and drinking water alone isn't enough. Similarly, for people who suffer from chronic hip, knee and other forms of joint pain, adequate hydration is one of the most natural solutions. Small cells, muscles, and tissues are composed of water and are responsible for keeping organs and systems running efficiently.
In some ways, dehydration can be very noticeable, such as if you're sitting in the sun all day and you start to feel dizzy and lightheaded. Dehydration causes a range of symptoms, such as drowsiness and dizziness, and increases the risk of heat injuries or low blood volume shock. Water helps create synovial fluid, a thin layer of fluid that cushions and provides nutrition to joints. If you're generally uncomfortable because of the heat, Dorsey recommends using ice or cold compresses on sore joints, elevating your hands, and moving with light, gentle exercises to avoid stiffness.
But it can also affect the mechanisms that keep joints running smoothly; it can reduce the fluid that cushions them or increase inflammation throughout the body. Then there are the muscles and kidneys, which contain 79% water, and the bones, which are approximately 31% water in composition.