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How water can help joint pain

How water can help joint pain

Joint pain can become so debilitating that even the basics of everyday life become painful. Whether you are suffering from joint pain because of a recent injury or because of arthritis, drinking more water is an essential component of joint pain relief.

Joints need water for cushion
Articular cartilage is found in joints and acts like a cushion to reduce friction and wear of the joint in order to prevent the dreaded “bone on bone” pain. Articular cartilage is made up of 60% water, which means if you are dehydrated your joints are, too.

Staying hydrated has many benefits for your health
Staying hydrated is important for your joints and for your overall success.

Drinking water is important for flushing toxins out of the body, regulating body temperature, supporting a regular heartbeat and blood pressure, supporting the immune system, and delivering vitamins and minerals throughout the body. Without proper hydration, the body will steal water from skin and muscles for our organs. When this occurs, your muscles and joints do not receive the proper nutrients needed for healing.

Dehydration can also delay healing—it can increase muscle soreness and tension, which can also lead to muscle cramping. If you are experiencing cramping during your physical therapy treatment sessions, you might not be able to progress as quickly as anticipated leading to a longer recovery time and delayed return to your prior level of function.

Not only does dehydration affect our muscles, but proper hydration is important for brain health. Proper hydration can help to enhance mental alertness leading to improved muscle coordination and athletic performance.

So how much water should you drink?
Recommendations vary from eight, eight ounce glasses of water per day, to consuming water equal to one-half of one’s body weight in ounces per day. Even though the recommendations vary, the results are the same—staying hydrated will help to alleviate the symptoms of dehydration leading to increased energy, improved alertness, and faster healing/recovery rates. Speak to your primary care provider for their recommendations on how much water you should drink.

Drinking more water is not a cure for joint pain, but it can help to promote a better recovery.

Shannon Sorensen, DPT, MHA, is the director of CCH Rehabilitation Services at 508 Stocktrail Avenue in Gillette, Wyoming.Physical therapy and joint pain
If you are struggling with joint pain, your doctor may first recommend that you see a physical therapist for evaluation and treatment. If you are interested in seeing how physical therapy can help with join pain, contact CCH Rehabilitation Services. Our compassionate and experienced staff helps each patient, in a team-oriented atmosphere, reach their goals. Call 307.688.8000 to make an appointment, or visit www.cchwyo.org/rehab to learn more.

Shannon Sorensen, DPT, MHA, is the director of CCH Rehabilitation Services at 508 Stocktrail Avenue in Gillette, Wyoming.