Proper hydration is essential to many aspects of health, including the general wellbeing of your spine. It’s often difficult to understand the importance of staying hydrated until you experience increased pain or limited mobility that’s partially due to insufficient hydration.
The center portion of each spongy disc located between the bones of the spine is made up mostly of water. The water within these discs is squeezed out during the day from normal movements. The clear, colorless liquid bathing the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid) can also be affected by a lack of sufficient hydration. If it’s not replenished, the resulting friction from lack of cushioning may lead to:
• Increased pain from existing spinal conditions • Added pressure on the spine and adjacent nerves • Difficulty with mobility or complete immobility
Dehydration is usually a gradual process where you’re not always aware that you’re not getting enough liquids, especially if you’re sipping on a few beverages here and there throughout the day. Your body will direct water from other sources to vital organs. According to Beverly Hills spine specialists, since the spine isn’t considered a priority, water drawn from that area can result in increased aches and pains.
When your body is sufficiently hydrated, regular movement can be good for the spine by facilitating the re-hydration of supporting discs. Maintaining proper hydration can also help you get the most out of your regular fitness routines or any physical therapy exercises you may have to do either during a supervised session or on your own between sessions, if you’re already undergoing some type of treatment for back pain.
Hydration plays an important role in the functioning of many internal structures, as evidenced by the fact that even mild dehydration can have an impact on the ability to function. The Institute of Medicine recommends 13 cups of beverages per day for men and 9 cups each day for women. Getting a good night’s rest can also help with replenishment since most recuperative hydration occurs while sleeping.
If you’re suffering from undiagnosed back pain, it may be time to reach out to a spine specialist who can determine the root of your pain and identify both conservative back treatments as well as surgical alternatives. Reach out today at (310) 828-7757 and request an in-person consultation.