Should you know more about your synovial fluid?

Font Size:

Your joints can sometimes be one of the casualties of age. While joint conditions aren’t necessarily a part of ageing, soreness, pain, stiffness and general discomfort in your knees, shoulders, hips and hands do often become more common as you get older.

And your synovial fluid is the key to diagnosing why you may experience these conditions.

But what is synovial fluid, you ask?

It’s the thick liquid that lubricates your synovial joints and keeps them moving smoothly.

Synovial joints are the ones in your body where bones are not connected. According to Facty Health, these include ball-and-socket joints in the hip and shoulder, hinge and pivot joints in the elbows, plane joints in the wrist, condyloid joints in fingers and saddle joints in thumbs, and the temporomandibular joint in the jaw.

A cavity exists between these joints and fibrous connective tissue forming the walls of the cavity, creating an articular capsule.

The consistency and colour of your synovial fluid changes when you experience joint conditions such as arthritis, gout, infections, and bleeding disorders.

A procedure called an arthrocentesis – when a sample of your synovial fluid is taken by a doctor – can help to figure out what’s causing your symptoms.

You may wish to request a synovial joint fluid analysis if you have joint symptoms such as, pain, redness, swellingor fluid build-up.

The analysis can also help your doctor figure out if you have an inflammatory condition such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus; an infection such as septic arthritis; haemophilia, von Willebrand disease or another bleeding disorder; or any disease that can break down your joints over time such as osteoarthritis; or to see if your current joint condition treatment is working.

It’s a simple procedure. Your doctor will give you a local anaesthetic and put a needle in to extract some fluid. It will then be sent to a lab, where a technician will check your fluid’s colour and thickness; measure for glucose, protein and uric acid; measure red and white blood cells and crystals, and test for bacteria, viruses, or other germs.

You can protect your synovial fluid by staying hydrated and eating a well-balanced diet. Light exercise and stretching can also promote and protect joint function.

Fatty acids found in fish and nuts are good for your joints, as are these joint-health promoting foods and supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin. You should, however, speak to your health professional before trying any new supplements.

How do you look after your joints?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Health disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.


How to … keep your joints happy and healthy

Do you suffer from joint pain? How should you alleviate the aches of arthritis?

Steppin’ out: Do you really know the health benefits of walking?

This simple exercise is better for you than you may think.

What foods do you need to add to your diet?

It goes without saying that eating well is vital for everyone at all ages.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Sign-up to the YourLifeChoices Enewsletter

continue reading

Health Insurance

Ageing baby boomers are missing out on health cover savings

Most older Australians see their health insurance premiums rise every year but don’t realise these high costs can be for...

Travel News

Vaccination no guarantee of open borders, says health minister

Australia's international border could remain closed even after the vaccination rollout is complete, according to health minister Greg Hunt. Mr...


The 'risk' of letting your grey hair grow out

At what point do you stop dyeing your hair and allow the grey to grow out? Is it after you...


Five running shoes reviewed

With the cooler weather, autumn and winter are arguably the best seasons to run in Australia, so it might be...


How large is Rupert Murdoch's reach in Australian media?

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd's petition to establish a royal commission into media diversity in Australia attracted more than half...


Coronary heart disease is the biggest killer of women worldwide

Heart attacks are still often seen as a 'male health' issue, yet coronary heart disease - which is the main...


Another vaccine ruled out as second blood clot case emerges

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced that a second case of blood clots is believed to be linked to...

Superannuation News

Super funds fight for changes to reforms

Your Super, Your Future legislation will be enacted within three months and leading players are weighing in on the impact...