Q & A Library
Salt Water for Arthritis Pain?
I have heard that drinking water with some sea salt in it can help with arthritis. Is this true? If so, can there be any complications?
Answer (Published 12/14/2009)
I'm assuming you're referring to osteoarthritis, the degenerative disease that occurs as we get older and is the result of years of wear and tear. This common malady is marked by breakdown of the cartilage that cushions joints. Symptoms include pain after repeated use, especially later in the day; and swelling, pain, and stiffness after long periods of inactivity (the stiffness you may feel when you get out of bed in the morning tends to subside with movement and activity). In advanced cases, pain occurs even at rest.
Drinking water with any kind of salt won't do a thing for your arthritis and could affect you adversely in other ways. If you're salt sensitive, it could cause water retention and elevate your blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
While I don't recommend drinking salt water, there are dietary changes you can make that may help reduce the inflammation that underlies arthritis pain:
The following supplements may help, too:
Andrew Weil, M.D.
Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.