Dehydration and pain are not commonly linked. But when you’re in pain, not drinking enough water could worsen your pain and slow recovery.
Up to 60% of your body is made up of water. It's vital for the effective functioning of many bodily processes, including your healing. When your body doesn't get enough water, it can disrupt these processes.
Drinking enough water to ensure you are hydrated is crucial for pain management and recovery. Here at The Painless Center in Fort Lee and Carlstadt, New Jersey, Jason Chiu, MD, and our team provide specialized care for treating all forms of pain.
How staying hydrated helps with pain management
Research shows that staying well hydrated can help to manage pain in many ways. Here's a look at how adequate hydration has been proven to help:
Relieves head pain
Dehydration has long been linked to head pains like migraines, which is why you may find relief by simply drinking some water when you have a minor headache. Staying hydrated is also essential if you have chronic headaches like migraines.
Inflammation contributes to pain with many injuries. Staying hydrated helps reduce inflammation, which can help manage pain. Drinking enough water decreases the function of chemical messengers that typically contribute to inflammation.
Helps with joint pain
Drinking water and staying hydrated can help with all sorts of pain, especially joint pain. The cartilage in your joints is made up of 60% water, which makes water essential for keeping your joints functioning effectively.
When the cartilage between your joints loses its sponginess, it can cause friction between the bones it supports, which leads to joint pain. Hydration also aids the production of synovial fluid, which is essential to keeping your cartilage lubricated.
How much water should you be drinking
It's easy to get dehydrated when going about your everyday life. You might not even realize you are thirsty when you are dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, headache, lightheadedness, and dark-colored urine.
How much water you should drink depends on factors like your gender, age, size, and how physically active you are. On average, we advise drinking about 4-6 cups of water a day.
Tips for drinking more water
Drinking more water is a great lifestyle habit to adopt, even if you’re experiencing no pain. It's essential for the smooth functioning of many bodily processes and keeps you healthy.
If you've been struggling with drinking enough water during the day, here are some tips that can help:
- Carry a bottle filled with water
- Set reminders on your phone to go off throughout the day
- Start your day with a full glass of water
- Drink naturally flavored water if you don't like the taste of plain water
- Make drinking water a habit
Although it's a good start, pain management goes beyond ensuring you stay hydrated. If you’re dealing with pain, contact us today at 201-592-7246 or request an appointment online here. At The Painless Center we’re equipped to handle your care.