How Hydration and Foot Pain Are Linked

How Hydration and Foot Pain Are Linked

by Crystal (SU)

If you’re experiencing foot pain – especially if it’s from gout – chances are you aren’t drinking enough water.

But what does hydration have to do with foot pain? Plenty. When you’re dehydrated, your body responds in the form of pain. In fact, severe dehydration is often confused with other health issues.

Take gout, for example. It’s a form of arthritis that causes severe pain, redness and tenderness in your joints. It develops when you have an excessive amount of uric acid in your body. Either your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys fail to release enough. As a result, the acid crystallizes and the needle-like shards are deposited into your joints, often in your big toe, where it causes inflammation and painful swelling that can last for weeks and return suddenly.

However, you can prevent and reduce the severity of these inflammatory flare-ups by drinking enough water. That’s because water dilutes the concentration of uric acid in your bloodstream. Hydration also helps your kidneys flush the uric acid from your system more effectively.

The link between pain and dehydration

There’s a reason doctors recommend that you drink eight 8-ounce glasses – that’s 2 liters or half a gallon – of water per day. About 60% of your body is composed of water. Nearly every organ in your body needs to be properly hydrated to function properly.  The bulk of your body’s water is housed in connective tissue such as your tendons, ligaments and collagen fibers. As you lose water from these tissues due to aging, poor diet, or failing to drink enough water, you’re prone to more physical injury and inflammation which leads to chronic pain.

This is especially true in your joints where water makes up most of the lubricant and helps flush out toxins. When you’re dehydrated, your body takes water from other areas, including your joints, and redistributes it. The depletion of water from your joints allows toxins to remain, resulting in pain and inflammation.

The pain-reducing benefits of hydration

Water is an essential key to proper body function and minimizing dehydration-related pain from head to toe. And it’s not just about how much water you consume, but how much of the water your body retains. In addition to drinking enough water, also focus on eating healthy water-rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables including oranges, pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, lettuce, celery, and green peppers. Not only will these provide extra hydration for your body, but also nutrients that help build stronger, healthier cells.

In addition to chapped lips, dry skin, headaches and constipation, the telltale symptoms of dehydration include chronic pains, stiffness, soreness, and arthritis. Another way to know if you’re dehydrated is to check the color of your urine. If it’s light yellow or almost clear, you’re well hydrated. But if it’s dark yellow or orange, you need to boost your water intake. If you are sure you aren’t drinking enough water and your feet do hurt, try re-hydrating and see how you feel.

For more than 40 years, Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland has provided the highest standard of orthopedic care for patients of all ages. We have offices in Catonsville, Columbia, and Eldersburg and we employ sophisticated advances and specialties in the field of orthopedic medicine, such as arthroscopic surgery, minimally invasive procedures, joint replacement, sports medicine, onsite diagnostic imagery, outpatient surgery, and physical therapy rehabilitation for the full spectrum of joint, bone, muscle, back, and related pain conditions and injuries. Request an appointment online or call us at (410) 644-1880 or toll-free at (844) 215-5993 for your consult today.