Can Dehydration Cause Joint Pain?

If you are often thirsty and also have joint pains, dehydration is probably the cause of these pains. 

Really? Can dehydration cause joint pain? Yes, it can! 

You might know that around 70% of our body is filled with water. And that’s no coincidence.

It is because the body needs so much water for its various functions. And one of those functions is to take care of your bones by providing them with the necessary lubrication. 

With fewer fluids in your system, joint pain is a consequence you should be ready for.

What are the reasons behind this kind of joint pain? Can drinking some water help with the pain? What’s the treatment? We’ll answer all your questions in this article today, so stay tuned!

Can Dehydration Cause Joint Pain? Find the Answer!

Yes, dehydration is one of the reasons why you may have joint pain. Other reasons can be gout, arthritis, cancer, injury, sprains, dislocation, infectious diseases, or overuse of some joints. 

When you get dehydrated, the lack of lubrication between the bones causes more pain, even if dehydration is not the root cause.

So, can dehydration cause hip pain and leg pain too? Yes, every part of your body which has bones can get hurt. 

But how do we know that dehydration is the actual cause?

Only the proper diagnosis from an expert doctor will help you find that. 

However, if you have dehydration symptoms, it is very likely to be the cause. These symptoms include lightheadedness, headaches, fatigue, dark and strong-smelling pee, and dry eyes, mouth, and lips.

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Why Does Dehydration Cause Joint Pain? 

Without a fluid balance in the body, it cannot perform many of its functions including those related to your bones.

Let’s get to the primary reasons why it happens:

1) Lack of Cushioning

When you rub two stones together regularly, you can see the scratches they develop over time. What do you think happens with our bones when we walk, run, or even sit?

If our bones were to rub each other every time we move our bodies, the friction between them is bound to damage them.

When you hydrate properly and avoid common hydration mistakes, you help the bones have proper lubrication (from water). This lubrication acts like a soft cushion between any pair of bones and keeps them from rubbing or hurting each other.

Water makes this possible by encouraging the release of synovial fluid (a thin layer between the bones) in the body. 

2) Weakening Cartilage

Our cartilage, which is mostly made of water, is a flexible and strong tissue that resides at the ends of our bones.

But our cartilage becomes weak day by day due to age. 

Weak cartilage means your bones will not be able to glide over each other without any deterioration. 

The damage causes inflammation which further causes joint pain.

Proper hydration can take care of the health of your cartilage. Thus, keeping you away from the pain.

Know More: What is Hypertonic Dehydration?

3) Lack of Nutrients

The liquids you drink – whether it’s regular water, juices from water-rich foods, or electrolyte drinks, help transfer nutrients all over your body. And that includes the bones as well.

It is synovial fluid, a thin layer of cushioning between our bones that is responsible for transferring nutrients. That’s because cartilage does not have blood vessels of its own to perform the same function.

But without enough water to make the transfer, your bones don’t get the nutrients they need and tend to get weaker by the day.

4) Weakening Muscles

The muscles around your bones help take the weight of those bones. They carry the burden of the pressure of these bones on your hips, elbows, legs, and everywhere else.

But muscles are also mostly made of water. To become strong, they need lots of protein and lots of water to make use of that protein. 

Muscles become strong when they repair themselves after some wear and tear in the gym. The repairing and the wear and tear phase also need water.

Additionally, dehydration prevents the muscles from contracting, which reduces overall muscle tone. 

Therefore, the lack of water interferes with all these functions, making your muscles weak enough to not be able to hold your joints. And that inability leads to pain.

Know More: Does eating snow dehydrate you?

How Do You Rehydrate Joints? 

Now it’s time we learn how to hydrate your joints. 

Here are some things you can do:

  • Make a habit of drinking at least  8 glasses of water per day.
  • Don’t ignore your thirst. Whenever you are thirsty, drink a few sips.
  • Don’t drink a huge chunk of water in one go, try having sips. 
  • Create reminders on your phone or use a water reminder app, in case you forget to drink water.
  • Consume water-rich foods.
  • Massage your joints with a healthy oil for some instant relief. 

It’s essential to make sure you make a habit of doing these things because if you are fully dehydrated it might take a long time to rehydrate.

If you do all these and still experience joint pains, you probably have a severe condition. The best thing to do at this point would be to consult a doctor.

Summing Up

Can dehydration cause joint pain? Yes! 

It happens because our joints depend on water for lubrication so as to prevent bone deterioration. Water also helps in the transfer of nutrients to the bones and to strengthen our cartilage and muscles.

To make sure your joints are always hydrated, drink enough water by following your thirst.

Have any other questions? Drop them in the comments below!

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