Back pain can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, injuries, and lifestyle factors. In rarer cases, it can also be caused by nutritional deficiencies which make it difficult for the body to repair or maintain the components of the back.
Among the patients who visit out chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent, the most common nutritional issue we see is a lack of water. Our chiropractors often find ourselves having to educate the patient on the importance of water for their health.
In this post, our Stoke chiropractor explains how dehydration may be related to back pain and provide information on how much water you should drink.
How Is Dehydration Related To Back Pain?
Water is an essential nutrient. The human body uses it to remove waste, generate sweat, digest food, eliminate toxins, absorb nutrients, and perform many other essential tasks.
Water also helps the spine’s intervertebral discs stay healthy. The intervertebral discs are rubbery discs which sit between the spine’s vertebrae. They are responsible for providing shock absorption and additional structure to the spine.
Intervertebral discs have a tough outer layer called the annulus fibrosus and a jelly-like inner centre called the nucleus pulposis. The nucleus pulposis is quite soft and made up of collagen fibres and water.
As you go about your day, the intervertebral discs will lose a small amount of water as they absorb shocks and are compressed by the vertebrae. Some of the water you have consumed during the day is used to replace the fluid in your intervertebral discs, particularly at night when you are laying down to sleep. This water rejuvenates the discs, making them plumper and restoring their shock absorbing capacity.
If you are dehydrated, there may not be enough water available to fully rejuvenate your body’s spinal discs. This can cause the discs to become less resilient and increases the risk of an injury occurring, like a herniated or ‘slipped’ disc. Because the discs are flatter, it is also more likely that pressure will be placed on a spinal nerve, which can cause back pain.
Over time, the condition of frequently dehydrated discs deteriorates, which can lead to a variety of problems and result in back pain.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
In general terms, men need to drink about 13 cups of fluid each day (3 litres) while women should drink about 9 cups of fluid each day (2 litres).
Pregnant women will need 10 cups of fluid and breastfeeding women will need as much as 12 cups. Young children (4 to 8) will need about 5 cups per day, while older kids will need between 6 to 8 cups.
However, it’s important to note that these figures are not precise. The amount of water you need will be based on a variety of factors including your age, weight, height, activity levels, and various health factors.
The climate where you live will also play an important role. If you live in an environment that is extremely hot and humid, you will probably need more water than someone living in London in the middle of winter.
Three Tips To Help You Stay Hydrated
When it comes to staying hydrated, following these three simple tips can help.
- Make drinking water a habit
Look for opportunities to make drinking water a regular part of your day. For starters, keep a glass of water next to your bed, so you can drink water if you wake in the middle of the night. Next, get into the habit of drinking two glasses of water as soon as you wake in the morning. Finally, purchase a large double walled flask which will stay with you throughout the day. This will keep your water cold and make it easily accessible.
- Drink more when exercising or working out
It may sound like a no-brainer, but a surprisingly high number of people perform these activities without increasing their water intake. Whenever you know you will be breaking a sweat, increase your water intake.
- Keep an eye on your urine
The colour of your urine is an accurate indicator of your hydration levels. If it is yellow or amber in colour, this indicates that there is less water and more waste in your urine, which means you may be dehydrated.
Visiting Our Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke
If you are suffering back pain or discomfort our professional and caring team of chiropractors at City Chiropractic are here to help you. To book an appointment with one of our chiropractors call our clinic on 01782 848 184. You can also book an appointment online on our website.