17 Aug How Hydration Can Help Your Back Pain in Summertime Weather
In late summer, stepping outside your home can feel like you’re melting from the blistering heat of the sun. The heat is no joke, a threat that makes for more than just drenched T-shirts and stinging eyes. This heat also can lead to some unforgiving dehydration.
So, how exactly does this connect to chiropractic care? Well, one of the lesser-known side effects of dehydration is back pain. If you’ve noticed the need to visit your chiropractor more frequently in the hotter months because of an increase in back pain, this may be the reason why.
But don’t sweat it, (metaphorically speaking), your trusted McAllen chiropractor at Hendrick Wellness Center is here to explain how hydration can be your best bet in helping relieve your back pain.
How Dehydration Causes Back Pain
Water is vital for life, especially your life. You have to drink sufficient water to fully nourish your body and stay healthy. How much or how little water you drink on the daily affects every single organ system and each cell in your body. Without enough water, your body cannot function at its best, and you could even encounter some very serious health issues, one of them being back pain.
Tiny discs that are housed between your vertebrae are tasked with a huge responsibility. Their role is to help absorb shock on your spine and also help to protect your back from daily wear and tear.
Consider each disc is a small jelly donut. It has a hard yet flexible outer layer that surrounds a squishy, jelly-like center. The jelly, also referred to as the nucleus pulposus, is made up of–you guessed it–water.
Your discs lose water and then rehydrate due to the movement of your spine and gravity, causing water to flow through your spine and then be reabsorbed by those discs. If there isn’t enough water available for the discs to absorb what they’ve lost, then it can’t work as intended.
Since most of the jelly inside the discs in your spine is made of water, it’ll shrink if not hydrated suitably. When it shrinks it will make the outer layer take on more of the stress associated with absorbing shock and supporting your spine.
Eventually, this can trigger sensations of swelling, pain, and even a bulge or rupture in the disc’s outer shell, which can be pretty uncomfortable.
How You Can Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated isn’t as tough as you may think. Here are some tips to keep you hydrated:
- Drink enough water – You should be drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. If you weigh 200 pounds, try to drink around 100 ounces of water spread throughout the day, every day.
- Choose water when working out – If your workout is less than 60 minutes, having some water before, during, and after exercise is a wise move. If you work out for more than 60 minutes or in intense heat, drink water along with sports drinks rich in sodium and potassium
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables – You don’t just get water through drinking, you also get it through foods. Try including at least five cups of vegetables and fruits a day.
- Track your urine – You can keep tabs on how hydrated you are based on the color of your urine. You should aim for urine that is pale yellow in color. If it’s dark yellow, cloudy or smells bad (not from something you ate or drank), then odds are you aren’t drinking as much water as you should be.
Visit Your Local McAllen Chiropractor
Keep in mind that not getting enough water in the heat of the summer can do much more than solely make you thirsty or give you back pain. Heat exhaustion can lead to life-threatening conditions like heat stroke.
Drinking enough water is crucial to nourish your whole body, spine, and all, and in these trying times, you want to try and remain as healthy as possible!