How to Increase Synovial Fluid

Synovial fluid, also called joint fluid, is a thick liquid that helps lubricate your joints as they slide against one another. It’s found in all joints in your body. As you age, the amount of synovial fluid in your joints may decrease. As a result, your joint movement becomes stiff and the cartilage may begin to rub together and wear away, resulting in bone-on-bone friction and pain. There are steps you can take to preserve or increase your synovial fluid.

Midsection of woman with knee pain sitting on chair

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Exercise Increases Synovial Fluid

Exercise is a natural way of performing maintenance on your body. It improves the function of many systems—increasing blood flow, nutrient circulation, and waste removal.

Synovial joints are joints that are formed by bones that slide against each other, such as:

  • Shoulders
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Elbows

These joints are surrounded by a soft tissue called the synovial membrane, or synovium. This membrane produces synovial fluid, and production is increased when exercise increases circulation of fluid and nutrients to these membranes.

Any physical activity can stimulate lubrication in your joints, but some exercises in particular may be most beneficial. These include:

  • Stretching
  • Strength training
  • Quadricep squats
  • Knee flexion
  • Heel raises

Foods That Regenerate Synovial Fluid

The foods that can help boost your synovial fluid are the same foods that are good for your general health. Eating a healthy diet has a number of benefits, including improving joint health and reducing pain. High-fat diets have been shown to increase inflammation in the synovial fluid.

You can reduce inflammation and promote synovial fluid production with the following foods:

  • Dark, leafy vegetables
  • Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, and flaxseeds
  • Anti-inflammatory foods rich in compounds like curcumin (found in turmeric)
  • Foods high in antioxidants like onions, garlic, green tea, and berries
  • Nuts and seeds

Therapies to Boost Synovial Fluid

For people who have severe loss of synovial fluid—like individuals with osteoarthritis—other therapies your doctor may be able to offer to you include:

  • Viscosupplementation injections: These supplements contain hyaluronic acid, which is found naturally in the synovial fluid. To administer hyaluronic acid, your doctor may perform one or several injections into your joint. This therapy hasn’t been demonstrated to increase synovial fluid, but can help with pain or inflammation related to synovial fluid loss. Injections can be repeated a number of times over a period of several months.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment: This form of regenerative medicine aims to help your body heal and repair damaged tissues. For this therapy, your own blood is collected and used to create a plasma injection. This injection is then administered to the affected joint under ultrasound guidance. More large-scale research is needed to prove the benefits of this treatment, but small studies have shown that PRP is at least as effective as hyaluronic acid in treating osteoarthritis.
  • Pain and inflammation management: Diseases like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can lead to a loss of synovial fluid, but a number of treatment options are available to manage these conditions. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment options for you.

Supplements 

Joint damage, arthritis, and the loss of synovial fluid are complex conditions to manage. As mentioned, there are a number of treatments, exercises, diet changes, and even surgeries aimed at helping to cushion your joints.

Another option is use of nutritional supplements. Sometimes called nutraceuticals, these aren’t a cure, but they can help with the symptoms of these conditions. Nutritional supplements are often used as a complementary therapy, in addition to other treatments aimed at increasing synovial fluid.

Some supplements that are commonly used to support synovial fluid production or joint health include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil
  • Glycosaminoglycans like glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Methionine
  • Collagen

A Word From Verywell

Certain diseases and even normal aging can wreak havoc on the health of your joints. When the fluid that lubricates your joints is reduced, the result can be painful grinding of bones. While no real cures exist for joint disease and deterioration, you can take a number of steps to preserve joint health and boost synovial fluid production. If these efforts don’t help, your doctor may be able to offer you other medications or injections.

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Article Sources
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