Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 19, 2017
Water is important for your whole health, but it’s even more essential for your spine. If you don’t stay hydrated, a whole bunch of problems can develop in your spine. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at why water is so crucial for maintaining a healthy spine, and what problems can develop if you are dehydrated.
Water’s Role In A Healthy Spine
A healthy spine is a hydrated spine. Your spine is comprised of vertebrae, and between each is a spinal disc that helps regulate movement. Each spinal disc is made up of a tough outer layer and a fluid filled nucleus at the center. When properly hydrated, these discs help to keep our spines flexible and healthy. However, if the nucleus doesn’t get enough water, it can’t adequately do its job, and that can lead to problems.
Your discs aren’t the only area of your spine that can be affected by poor hydration. Staying hydrated affects how easily your cerebrospinal fluid flows throughout your body. If your spine is dehydrated, it won’t flow as it should and that can lead to decreases in your reflexes as well as your cognitive processing. Because of this, you should always strive to maintain adequate hydration, especially if you are losing excess fluids through sweat during exercise or athletic activity.
Problems Caused By Spinal Dehydration
A number of different problems can arise if your spine or your spinal discs are dehydrated. Some of the conditions that can develop either right away or over time include:
- Limited spinal mobility
- Decreased spinal flexibility
- Quicker spinal aging
- Increased risk of injury
Signs Of Dehydration and Treatment Options
If you are dehydrated, you’ll probably notice symptoms in your spine and throughout your whole body. Typical symptoms include headaches, an overall lack of energy, discolored urine, muscle tightness, spasms or a decreased range of motion. It can also lead to tightness in your back or pain with movement.
Treatment and prevention of spinal dehydration follow the same strategies. As you probably guessed, water is a great way to hydrate your spine, but it’s not the only way. You can actually get a lot of hydration from foods like watermelon, spinach, lettuce, grapes, soups and tea. Conversely, liquids like soda and coffee aren’t always the best bets, because caffeine can cause more frequent urination and loss of fluids.
So if you are experiencing regular back tightness or spasms, take a closer look at your water consumption and try to up it if you aren’t drinking a lot of water. If you up your hydration and are still experiencing issues, contact Dr. Sinicropi’s office so we can get to the bottom of your problem.