Dehydration And Joint Pain

May 1st, 2020 Becki Andrus

How Your Body Uses Water

Your body requires a sufficient amount of water in your system in order to operate properly, and there are a number of reasons why the process of remaining hydrated is essential.

Water supplies various nutrients to the cells throughout your body, while it also safeguards your tissues and vital organs.

A proper level of fluid will also make these nutrients more available for your body, while also advancing water through your system.   

The transportation of fluids to each critical region of your body is also completed with the assistance of electrolytes. These elements contain a mixture of sodium and potassium that serve the critical purpose of delivering energy to your cells.

In addition to the other important factors that proper water consumption can deliver, fluid will also regulate your body temperature, and provide additional protection to your spinal cord.

The Downside Of Dehydration

As your body continues to process the fluids that you drink, you are automatically depleting your internal supply.

If your body is not receiving the amount of water that is necessary in order to function effectively, then you can experience dehydration.

Some cases of this condition can maintain a mild form. However, other individuals might encounter dehydration that is moderate, or even severe.  

Any failure to continue your consumption of water to compensate for the amount of fluid that you are using can also lead to more serious health issues.

If dehydration occurs over an extended period, the problems that can ensue include complications with your kidneys, and your inability to eliminate water. Other serious issues can develop, including pain in your joints.

Dehydration And Joint Pain

Drinking a desirable amount of fluid each day will ensure that you are efficiently lubricating your joints. This will reduce any friction within your cartilage – which is the tissue that helps to sustain a smooth motion for your joints.

The thick fluid that provides this lubrication is referred to as synovial fluid. It is sandwiched between your joints while providing a cushion that keeps your bones from making contact with other bones. It is contained in the joints throughout your body, including your knees, hips, hands, shoulders, and feet.

When you are making movements, this fluid is extracted from the cartilage. But when all movement has ceased, then the cartilage will use a high percentage of the fluid.

This is why the proper movement of your joints is important because it advances the synovial fluid through your joints.

If the progression of fluid is not sufficient to sustain the normal process of lubricating your joints, then it can become more difficult to move them. That can result in joint pain.

The proper amount of fluid will also decrease any inflammation that might otherwise emerge in your joints, while also expanding the growth of cells that is necessary for your cartilage tissues. 

Causes Of Dehydration

There are multiple reasons why your body can lose fluid, which would lead to the potential for dehydration. Basic functions of the body such as sweating, and eliminating waste can reduce your fluid level.

This is also true if you become involved in various activities and simply forget to drink water. However, there are additional reasons why dehydration can occur:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Exposure To Extreme Heat
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive Exercise
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Excessive urination

Symptoms Of Dehydration

If you are extremely thirsty, this can be a clear indication that you are contending with dehydration. This is also true if you encounter muscle cramps or are feeling lightheaded. However, there are other symptoms that can signal dehydration:

  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Headaches
  • The inability to urinate
  • Dark color to any urination

It is also critical for you to remain aware of the symptoms that indicate severe dehydration:

  • Severe dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Extremely dry skin
  • Fainting
  • Confusion

Staying Hydrated

It has been stated that around 60% of your body weight consists of water. This underscores the importance of maintaining a proper level of fluids in your system.

The exact amount of water that should be consumed on a daily basis will vary with each individual. But it has been recommended that men should drink an average of 3 liters on a daily basis, while women should consume 2 liters each day.

When To Visit A Physician

If you are contending with a fever of 103 degrees or higher, are dealing with sluggishness, or have failed to urinate for at least 12 hours, then you should seek immediate medical attention.

This is also true if you are experiencing low blood pressure or any of the symptoms of severe dehydration that were listed. Otherwise, you are at risk of additional health issues if the condition is not addressed promptly.

You should visit a physician if you have been experiencing diarrhea for at least 24 hours, are unable to keep fluids down after you attempt to drink them, or are having bloody stools.

You should see a physician for any joint pain that is intense or is accompanied by redness, swelling, or warmth near the joint. You should also see a doctor if your joint has lost its usual shape, or if you are unable to use it.

At Orthopedic Associates, We Are Here To Help

At Orthopedic Associates, we want you and your family to enjoy a pain-free existence. That includes healthy participation in sports or recreational activities or the simple movements that you depend on during a normal day.

If you encounter discomfort, illness, injury, or have a concern about anything that might keep you from being involved in physical activity, we are here to assist you, so that you can return to the activities and lifestyle that you prefer.  

That is why Orthopedic Associates offers a full spectrum of musculoskeletal care, along with in-house physical sports therapy, and state-of-the-art-technology including our digital imaging and open MRI, and an on-site surgical center for more patient convenience.

Our board-certified doctors have been practicing medicine for a combined total of 183 years. Our team also contains specialists for every condition that you might encounter.

In addition to the services that we provide that are related to Sports Medicine and In-House Imaging, our physicians are always available to share their knowledge should you require joint replacement or arthroscopic surgery. Our specialists are also here to assist with physical therapy, rehabilitation, and orthopedic trauma.

The types of injuries that we can assist you with include:

  • ACL Tears
  • Fractures
  • Weight lifter’s shoulders
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Meniscal injuries and tears
  • Sprains and strains
  • Tendinitis
  • Dislocations
  • Labral Tears
  • Minor injuries like bruises, muscle cramps, pain, and shin splints

Some of the more common symptoms from a sports injury include: 

  • Sudden, severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Tender joints and bones
  • Loss of ability to place weight on the injured joint
  • Loss of ability to move the injured joint
  • A joint or bone that is visibly out of place

Sometimes injuries will slowly emerge over a period of time, and these issues are referred to as chronic injuries. They often occur due to activities that involve repetitive motion such as running, swimming, or throwing. The symptoms of chronic injuries include:

  • Pain during exercise
  • Dull aches during resting
  • Swelling

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or have any questions are sports-related injuries, we encourage you to visit one of the Orthopedic Associates’ two locations or request an appointment today to be on your way to feeling better.

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