An Often Over Looked Importance Of Water
Water is the most important nutrient for the human body by a long way, next to oxygen, our body needs water in order to survive. The human body can last weeks without food, but only days without water. Seeing as our bodies can’t store water we need access to a fresh supply every day so our body’s water uses and loss can be replaced. Because of the important role that water plays in our ongoing survival it is often over looked the importance that water also plays in the musculoskeletal system and the role of water and your joints will specifically be discussed here.
The Importance Of Water To Your Body’s Muscles And Joints
Water helps maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body and is necessary for most bodily functions, the musculoskeletal system included:
- Water helps to keep your bloodstream “liquid” enough to flow smoothly through our blood vessels.
- Water is also necessary in helping the transportation of nutrients and oxygen to your cells. Nutrients required for repair, growth and general functioning.
- Water helps eliminate toxins and byproducts of your body’s metabolism and exercise. Water helps energize muscles, cells that don’t maintain their fluid and electrolyte balance shrivel which can result in muscle fatigue. Ultimately daily body function and sporting performance can suffer when muscle cells don’t have the sufficient fluids!
- Water helps regulate body temperature during hot periods, activity and exercise through sweating.
- Water aids digestion helping you receive the nutrients your body requires from your food.
- Water helps operate as a shock absorber inside your spinal cord and the interverterbral discs of the spine making it important in protecting your spine, spinal cord and nerve roots from shock and damage.
- Water helps lubricate and cushion your synovial joints.
Water And Your Joints: Why Water Is So Important
Our joints are an amazing marvel of natural engineering. Our synovial joints have the ability to move through vast ranges of movement as well as consistently absorb and distribute significant loads time and time again. When considering water and your joints, water plays a significant role in your joints having this capacity to move so freely and absorb these loads. Intercellular water is 60-80% of the make up of cartilage cells and plays a significant role in providing the cushion that sits between the joints being so strong and capable of absorbing forces constantly exerted on the body. If insufficient water is consumed daily then dehydration can potentially occur in your joints. This dehydration can play a role in joint damage, joint pain and ultimately arthritis.
Synovial Fluid: Is Reportedly 3 Times More Slippery Than Skating On Ice
Water is also about 80% of what makes up your Synovial fluid. Synovial fluid is a thick, stringy colorless liquid that sits inside your joints between the joint surfaces and is supposedly the most slippery substance known to man. Synovial fluid exists to reduce friction in joints, helping lubricate, cushion and provide nutrition to your joints allowing the bones to freely glide over each other.
Drinking Plenty Of Water May Help With Managing Arthritis Symptoms
The majority of people are familiar with the common signs of dehydration such as muscle cramps, feeling lightheaded and experiencing excessive thirst are symptoms that occur when a person is severely dehydrated. Dehydration of the body can potentially cause joint pain because of the lubricating effect water has on the joints (joints such as your knees, hips, feet, shoulders and hands…). When hydrated your synovial fluid helps provide shock-absorption, lubrication and cushioning in the joints. And the cartilage cells are buoyed with water helping fill the framework creating strong sturdy joint cartilage. However when there is a situation of chronic insufficient hydration there is potentially reduced lubrication in the joints which may result in the development of joint pain.
Water molecules are intimately related in helping maintain the health and function of your joints. So it goes to reason drinking plenty of water ensures your joints are healthy and hydrated, helping keep strong hydrated cartilage cells resistant to damage and providing a nice slippery surface meaning easy full range of movement. Hence drinking the right amount of water could possibly help relieve any existing arthritic pain as well as fight the onset of arthritis, back pain and other joint pains.
Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products mentioned. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance on Water And Your Joints should consult his or her general practitioner, physiotherapist or dietician.