Does Dehydration Impact Your Spine and Back?
Water makes up 60% of the human body. As we move throughout the day, we need to replenish the water lost to keep ourselves running. When we lose more water than we take in, our body experiences dehydration, making it harder for essential processes to function properly.
Doctors recommend that men drink 3.7 liters of water and women around 2.7 liters of water daily. Drinking the suggested amount of water will make sure that our body can properly perform its routine. The amount of liquids in your body can impact your energy levels, bowel movements, and organ health.
How Does Water Affect the Spine?
Our spine is made from rows of bone called vertebrae, and between each of these is a disc. As you bend and move around, your discs absorb the shock from your movements and protect the bones.
Inside each disc is a cushion for the vertebrae called the nucleus pulposus. Surrounding the nucleus pulposus is a ring of a rigid and flexible gelatinous substance that works as another protective layer. The nucleus pulposus is mainly water. When we’re properly hydrated, our spine has more mobility and less tension than when it needs water.
Can Back Problems Occur from Dehydration?
So, what does this have to do with dehydration? The inner part of the spinal disc is mainly water, and it’s the part of the spine that acts as a buffer for the vertebrae bones. If you’re dehydrated, the disc won’t be able to absorb shock and the bones will grind together.
Earth’s gravity weighs down on our bones, and as we move throughout the day, our vertebrae compresses the discs and pushes the water out. When we keep ourselves hydrated, the discs are replenished and can continue to act as a cushion. If we become dehydrated, our discs can’t refill, and our bones will stay compressed. See the list below for some back injuries caused by dehydration:
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Weakness in leg muscles
- Spinal pain
- Shooting pain through the legs
Water makes sure that our bones don’t rub together and create serious injuries.
How to Start Drinking More Water
It’s vital to drink enough water throughout the day. More than just preserving your back and spinal health, water consumption can improve metabolism, prevent headaches, and maximize physical performance. If you’re someone who forgets to drink water, try some of these tips:
- Set daily goals and reminders
- Carry around a reusable water bottle
- Flavor your water
- Eat foods high in water—zucchini, watermelon, or cabbage
Any of these tips can help keep your body in peak performance, and finding more ways to increase your water intake can improve your back and spine health.
Trust in Our Expert Back and Spine Surgeons at OLSS
Our respected and passionate medical team at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery is always willing to help those in need of assistance with back or spine injuries. From non-surgical methods to minimally invasive surgeries, our team uses state-of-the-art technology to provide our clients with a tailored treatment made specifically for their needs.