The average human body is at least half water, so it should come as no surprise that without proper hydration, your body cannot function the way it’s supposed to. Here at LIFETIME Spines, we want to promote optimal health in all of our patients, which includes proper hydration.
What about this back pain you’ve been experiencing? Could it be that all you need to do is drink more water?
Why is water so important?
- Life cannot exist without water; your body relies on it from the largest organ to the smallest cell.
- Even minor dehydration can negatively impact your short term memory, energy levels, and ability to focus.
- Our bodies use water for the metabolization, transportation, and nutrient absorption of food.
- Our bodies also use water for the transportation and removal of waste.
- Proper hydration encourages the burning of stored fat for energy, making weight loss easier.
- Water is what allows your body to regulate its temperature, which is why we drink more after exertion.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration is something many of us don’t take too seriously, but studies show that three-quarters of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Defined simply as a greater loss of fluids from the body than is being replaced, dehydration just means that your body is losing water more quickly than you’re replacing it. The body loses water throughout the day via urination, defecation, perspiration, and even breath exhalation, and we lose water even faster when engaged in exercise or other physical activity as well as due to illnesses that cause vomiting, diarrhea, or increased urination. What do you think? Are your replacing the water your body is losing during your daily routine?
How can being dehydrated cause me pain?
Do you experience joint pain or pain in your back? Do you struggle to identify why you’re having these pains? You could simply be dehydrated. When your body lacks the proper amount of water, the cartilage in your joints isn’t able to cushion joint movement in the way it’s supposed to, causing stiffness and pain. In addition to joint pain, dehydration can also cause back pain due to the dehydration of the discs that cushion the movement of your spinal vertebrae. The inner section of the disc consists mostly of water, so dehydration causes the entire disc to lose its ability to cushion your spine properly. This can cause swelling, pain, or even a disc herniation.
How much water should I drink?
Most experts have abandoned the old eight by eight rule and now advise people to drink between one-half and one ounce of water per every one pound you weigh. For example, a 140-pound woman should drink between 70 and 140 ounces of water per day. As with any rule of thumb, adjust this guideline as needed to account for increases in activity, temperature, etc.
Common Symptoms of Dehydration
We hope drinking more water helps with your pain problems! If not, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with LIFETIME Spines, a leading chiropractic clinic in Austin.