As summer heat intensifies, so does the risk of dehydration. Physical activity in hot temperatures, no matter how intense, requires proper and regular hydration. So, in regards to orthopedics, why is this so important? Here is how hydration and orthopedic injuries are related and how to keep them at bay.
Function of Hydration on Muscles
Proper hydration keeps the muscles pliable, meaning they contract and relax with ease. With lack of water in the body, tension and cramping can occur, increasing the risk of sprains, tears and fractures. In addition, dehydration can cause joint pain as the lubrication fluid between joints are made mostly of water. Beyond orthopedics, good hydration has numerous health benefits including preventing headaches, kidney stones, urinary tract infections and more.
Warning Signs of Dehydration
If you’re feeling any of the following early warning signs, be sure to take action.
- Dark colored, strong smelling urine
- Dry mouth
- Feeling of thirst with lightheadedness or dizziness
- Decreased frequency in urination
Here are some tips to keep dehydration at bay, especially during summer months:
- Set a daily goal for water consumption (recommend starting with a goal you can accomplish then adding on)
- Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning
- Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go
- Set up phone reminders to keep you drinking water
- Take water breaks often when performing physical tasks or exercising
- Track the amount of water you’ve drank all day
- Avoid coffee or other caffeinated drinks
With a conscious commitment to staying hydrated, you’ll reap all the health benefits that comes with it – orthopedic and beyond! As always, if you have any questions, give our specialists a call!