Hydration and Joint Pain

It’s no secret that drinking water is a huge part of maintaining optimal health. There are many signs that you may be dehydrated, but one you may not think of is how your joints feel. Here’s how hydration and joint pain are linked.

  • Cartilage Function

Your body’s joints – your knees, elbows, hips – are up to 80% cartilage. The main job of cartilage is to reduce the friction between the bones while the joint moves.  Water plays a crucial part in helping cartilage perform its duty by supporting its structure.

  • Eliminating Toxins

Drinking an adequate amount of water daily flushes out toxins from your body. Toxins can cause inflammation – and in the joints, inflammation means pain. It can also worsen symptoms of arthritis.

  • Healing from Injury

By keeping your ligaments, tendons and muscles pliable, proper hydration is key in recovering from injury or surgery.

Tips to increase your daily water intake:

  • Always have reusable water bottle nearby. Be sure to sip throughout the day
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can dehydrate the body
  • Eat fruits and vegetables rich in water-content like cucumbers and watermelon

These tips will help keep minor dehydration at bay, but severe dehydration can be a serious condition, therefore it’s important to seek medical help if symptoms continue or worsen. For joint pain that interferes with your daily activities, call the specialists at NEOSM for a consultation.

Pop Quiz: Test Your Orthopedic Knowledge

How about a pop quiz? Orthopedic fun-facts, safety tips… how do you think you’ll do answering these questions? Let us know how you do! (answers at the bottom of the page)

*Here’s a tip – all the answers can be found in our News & Blog posts! 

1. Which of these should you NOT do when in a cast?

A. Elevate as needed

B. Wash the cast with soap and water

C. Keep it clean

D. Have people sign it

2. TRUE or FALSE: Tommy John is a tendon in the elbow.

3. Bending your head down 45-60% can put as much as XX lbs of force on your upper spine.

A. 30 lbs

B. 60 lbs

C. 75 lbs

D. 90 lbs

4. ______ is responsible for over 2 million fractures per year

Arthritis OR Osteoporosis

5. What should you bring with you to your orthopedic appointment?

A. Insurance card

B. List of medications or supplements

C. Questions

D. All of the above

6. Aside from calcium, which vitamin is essential for bone health?

A. Vitamin A

B. Vitamin B

C. Vitamin C

D. Vitamin D

7. According to Dr. Ilan, is cracking your knuckles bad?

A. Yes

B. No

C. No, but just don’t do it around him.

8. TRUE OR FALSE: People hurt themselves cutting avocados so often that there’s a name for it.


  1. B. You should always try to keep your cast dry. We share more cast care tips in this post.
  2. False. Tommy John surgery is named for the famous pitcher it was first performed on. Here’s more about it.
  3. B. Looking down at your computer or phone puts a lot of pressure on your neck. We explain in our Text Neck article.
  4. Osteoporosis. Learn all about preventative measures here.
  5. D. Find out all you need to prepare for your appointment in our guide.
  6. D. Read all 5 keys to bone health.
  7. C. He doesn’t like it, but see why it’s ok.
  8. True. Yup, it’s called Avocado Hands and it could be pretty serious. Here’s our preferred way to prep our favorite add-on.

Muscle Cramps: Causes and Treatment

Sudden spasms in a muscle can take you off-guard and put you in sudden pain. They come upon instantly and unexpectedly. They may last between a few seconds or a few minutes. There’s a few reasons why a muscle cramp may creep up on you:


Strenuous activities or exercise can put a physical strain on your muscles.


When your body loses/uses more fluid than it takes in, buildup of toxins make muscles prone to spams.

Low Electrolyte Levels

Electrolytes like calcium and potassium are key to regulating muscle activity


Changes in circulation and pressure on nerves increases the risk of muscle cramps for pregnant women.

What can you do at the onset of a muscle spasm? First, stop the activity that triggered the cramp and gently stretch the muscle while massaging the cramp. When muscles begin to tense, apply heat for relief. Be sure to hydrate and intake electrolytes-rich food or beverages like bananas or low-sugar sports drinks. To prevent cramps, always warm up before physical activity and stay hydrated.

When should you see a doctor? Though majority of cases are harmless, if muscle spasms become frequent and more severe, there may be an underlying issue. Contact our office to make an appointment with our specialists.

Source: OrthoInfo

Importance of Stretching at Your Desk

If you spend your day seated at work, you know that feeling when you first stand up after a long time at your desk. Your legs are tight, your back aches and your neck feels stiff. It’s easy to get caught up with your tasks, but taking breaks to relieve your muscles is so important for many reasons. Here’s why:

Promote Circulation

Without regular movement, our circulation slows down, which may present serious issues. Just a few minutes each hour to allow your blood flow to recalibrate can prevent them.

Improved Posture

When you’re engrossed in your work, it’s easy to begin to slouch unknowingly. Taking a break to stand will remind your body to practice good posture to prevent injuries.

Reduce Tension

Remaining in a seated position for a long time increases the tension in your neck, back, hip and leg muscles. By giving these muscle groups a chance to elongate releases this tension and commonly associated pain.

Mental Clarity

Breaks from work are not only good for the body, but good for focus and mood. Stepping away from your desk to connect with your physical self has been shown to increase productivity.

Stretches to Consider

Here are some stretches to try the next time you take a body-health break at work.

  • Hands/Arms – Extend your arms out in front of you, palms facing down. Move your hands up then down. Repeat with palms facing up.
  • Shoulders – Cross your arms across your chest, alternating arms top and bottom
  • Neck – Gently roll your head clockwise, then counterclockwise
  • Back – Interlace your fingers and stretch your arms out in front of you.
  • Hip – Seated, cross one leg over the other and rotate your torso in the direction of the top leg. Repeat on opposite side.
  • Hamstrings – Standing, cross one leg over the other. Bend from your hip towards your toes. Repeat with opposite leg.
  • Ankles – Seated or standing, lift one leg off the ground and circle your ankle clockwise, then counterclockwise. Repeat on other side.

The specialists at NEOSM are here to help you live your best life. Prevention is the key to maintaining good health, so remember to keep moving throughout the day to keep your body in tip-top shape!

5 Superfoods for Bone & Joint Health

Growing up you’ve probably have heard that milk and dairy is best for strong bones. End of story. Is it really just that simple? Yes, calcium is a component to building healthy bones, but there are many more options besides a glass of the white stuff, and they come with additional benefits.

First, what makes a food ideal for your joints and bones? Look for a diet rich in Vitamin D, Magnesium, Vitamin K and, of course, Calcium, plus other components to reduce inflammation of joint pain. Here are our top choices to add to your daily meals and the nutrients they provide.


A true superfood, kale is full of high levels of Vitamin K and Calcium, plus the added benefit of anti-oxidants.


Not only is salmon rich in Vitamin D, but also Omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and protein to support muscle building to protect bones.


Now readily available at supermarkets everywhere, edamame is the perfect snack to up your calcium, protein and anti-oxidant consumption.


Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries are rich in anti-oxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.


A great vegan option, firm, calcium-set tofu is loaded with protein, magnesium and calcium.

With these superfoods in your diet, plus regular exercise, you can help build healthy bones from the inside out!

Learn more about Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine and our providers, explore our website or contact us for a consultation.