How Dehydration and Back Pain Are Linked

At Apollo Chiropractic, one of our primary goals when helping you find back pain relief is getting to the root of the pain itself. Pain symptoms often happen due to causes that might be slightly or even very different from the actual pain itself, and getting to a healthier place with the spine and neck often involves using chiropractic services to weed out these causes and address them.

One possible cause for back pain that many sufferers simply have never considered: Hydration. Water accounts for over half of the human body, and not having enough can have major physical effects all over – including the back. Let’s go over some of the links between dehydration and back pain, plus how to look out for signs of dehydration and keep yourself properly hydrated.


Link Between Dehydration and Back Pain

The spine is made up of a number of discs that take on a jelly-like texture – and this comes directly from the fact that they’re made up of about 75 percent water. Both the outer and inner rings of spinal discs are almost all water, with a harder section in the middle. As your waking day goes on, the spinal discs slowly release water. By the end of the day, in fact, you’re a little shorter than you were when you woke up that morning for just this reason.

But think about what this means for people who don’t get enough water. The discs generally rehydrate during sleep hours, allowing them to support the spine through the day. If they don’t have enough moisture, they’re at far higher risk of issues with handling the basic demands of the day. They won’t be able to absorb stress and will place more pressure on the spine.


Signs of Dehydration

Here are some common signs that you might be dehydrated:

  • You have strangely dry skin
  • Your urine is a darker orange or yellow color
  • You have bad breath for no good reason
  • You have significant fatigue or muscle cramps
  • You’re angry for no good reason
  • You have dry eyes or blurred vision
  • You have a headache with no other explanation
  • You have a fever or are dizzy with no other explanation


Staying Hydrated

In general, your daily goal should be to drink between a half-ounce and a full ounce of water for every pound you weigh. If you weigh 160 pounds, then, you should aim for at least 80 ounces of water each day, or more if you can. Here are some tips to help stay hydrated:

  • Download an app on your phone that helps you track your water consumed
  • Pay attention to the color of your urine through the day, and drink more if it becomes darker
  • Add flavoring – mint, juice, fresh fruits or veggies, or powders
  • Use a reusable water bottle, particularly one that tracks ounces
  • When working out, add electrolytes to your consumption as well as water

For more on how hydration and back pain connect, or to learn about any of our chiropractic treatments, speak to the staff at Apollo Chiropractic today.