06 Jun Summer Health Tip: Stay Hydrated to Protect Your Spine
It’s easier than you may think to become dehydrated, especially during the hot summer months. This can be harmful to your organs, tissues and overall health.
Did you know that back pain is one of the problems that can result from dehydration? That’s why dehydration is one condition we check for when patients come to Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic complaining about back pain.
Why Dehydration Can Hurt Your Spinal Health
If you’re an adult, 55-60% of your body is composed of water, which needs to be constantly replenished. This also affects your back—it needs water to function properly.
Your spine is made up of vertebrae, discs and cartilage that protect your spinal cord. The discs are filled with a watery gel that acts as a shock absorber for your spine, helping to cushion your vertebrae and prevent them from painfully rubbing together or pressing on nerves.
Your everyday activities deplete the water in your discs. When these discs deflate, they can’t do their protective job. You need to take in enough water to keep your discs full.
Lack of water in your body can also weaken tendons and muscles around your spine. This may result in spinal misalignments, decreased mobility, herniated discs or nerve compression—a recipe for pain.
Symptoms of Dehydration
Be alert for signals that your body needs more fluids, such as:
- Fatigue or weakness
- Dry mouth and/or bad breath
- Dry skin
- Darker than normal urine
- Muscle cramps
- Dry eyes
More serious dehydration symptoms that may indicate a need for medical attention include:
- Blurry vision
- Fast heartbeat and breathing
Tips for Good Summertime Hydration
Following some good hydration habits will protect your back and overall health when the weather heats up:
Prepare for time outdoors by drinking extra fluids for 24 hours beforehand.
Don’t wait till you’re thirsty–sip from a water bottle throughout the day.
Stay inside on very hot days, if possible, especially during midday when the sun is at its strongest.
Outside, wear a hat and loose-fitting, lighter-colored clothes that reflect heat away from you.
Set a reminder timer if you tend to forget your water when you’re busy.
Add lemon or other fruit to the water to make it more of a treat.
Eat watery fruits and veggies, such as cantaloupe, watermelon, celery, and cucumbers.
Use moderation with caffeine and alcohol. They act as diuretics, causing your body to lose water.
Monitor yourself for dehydration symptoms.
Chiropractic Care to Maintain a Healthy Spine
When your discs are water-deprived, your spine’s support system can deteriorate. This reduces the performance of your central nervous system, impairing its ability to carry vital messages throughout your body.
Your chiropractor can determine if any of your vertebrae are misaligned. Manual adjustments realign your spine, bringing benefits like improved nervous system function, mobility and pain relief.
Getting enough fluids is an important complement to chiropractic care. Well-hydrated muscles and spinal discs help you maintain proper spinal alignment–and all the health benefits that come with it.
Call Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic to Schedule Your Free Consultation
Contact our friendly Broken Arrow office today at 918-940-4630.