Hydration and Your Spine

One of the most common tips we give to all practice members after an adjustment is to drink more water. Water accounts for more than 50% of your body, and when it isn’t adequately hydrated, the effects can include fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches and dizziness. Back pain can also be caused by dehydration!
When your body becomes dehydrated, water is removed from the discs that are located between the vertebrae of your spine, cause your back to ache. When these discs aren’t adequately hydrated, the spinal bones end up taking the full shock of your body’s movements, which results in pain.

Dehydration and Back Pain
Wondering how dehydration and your back pain are linked? The discs between your vertebrae are made up of nearly 75% water. Throughout the day, water is continuously being released from these discs. Interesting fact, by the end of each day you are approximately 1 inch shorter than when you woke up that morning. While you sleep (by a process called imbibition) your discs rehydrate and you return to your full height by the next morning. Your discs struggle to stay hydrated each day as they challenge gravity in an upright position. A couple ways you can help your discs stay hydrated is to ensure that you are hydrated and move frequently throughout the day.
When your spinal discs aren’t adequately hydrated, they can’t support and protect your spine as they normally would. If the discs aren’t able to function optimally, more stress will be put on your spine which cause swelling, pain and can even lead to bulging discs.

10 Signs to tell if you’re dehydrated:

  1. Bad Breath
  2. Dry Skin
  3. Dark Urine
  4. Fatigue
  5. Muscle Cramps
  6. Blurred Vision/ Dry Eyes
  7. Headaches
  8. Dizziness
  9. Easily Irritated
  10. Fever

We all know it is important to stay hydrated, but it can be easy underestimate the importance of that. Keep in mind that your health, and the health of your spine, depends on your hydration.

Staying Hydrated:

  • Make daily water drinking goals
  • If you’re working out make sure that you have electrolytes in addition to your water
  • Can’t drink plain water? Add flavouring like slices of citrus or fresh mint to make it more appealing. Have fun with these combinations.
  •  Add more fresh vegetables and raw fruits to your diet
  • Pay attention to your urine
  • Set a timer to track your water intake
  • Download an app on your smart phone that can help you track the amount of water you’re drinking


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