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Can Dehydration Cause Lower Back Pain

Interrupt Long Periods Of Sitting


If you sit for long periods of time, force yourself to get up from your chair as much as your work environment will permit. Sitting loads the spine and compresses the disks, leading to disk problems. Slaving over a computer for long periods of time can also cause neck and posture problems, such as kyphosis.

How Can You Maintainproper Hydration Every Day

Its easy to stay properly hydrated if you give it a littleeffort, and its well worth it in the long run. Here are some tips to stay adequatelyquenched so your body runs smoothly and you avoid problems likedehydration-induced back pain.

If you have back pain that comes and goes without anyapparent cause, you might want to try drinking more water to see if that helps.You may find that once your discs are hydrated, your back pain disappears.If you try improving your hydration for a weekor so with no improvement, it may be time to to look for other causes of your back pain. At True Spine Chiropractic, we cando a thorough examination and help you improve the health of your back. Let usknow how we can assist you today.

How Can Dehydration Cause Lower Back Andabdominal Pain

A woman feeling back pain, Credit: Pixabay

You might be wondering, how can dehydration cause lower back pain? The answer is simple. Your spinal cord consists of a string of vertebrates. Between every two vertebrates lies a disc. Its function is to support you and facilitate the mobility of the spine. On the outside, these discs are composed of fiber, but they have a gelatinous substance on the inside. This substance is primarily made of water and mainly supports your spine.

Your daily activities cause wear and tear to your spinal cord. It leads to the discs losing their water levels as water leaks out from them. Water is pulled down your spine through gravity in normal circumstances, and your discs can rehydrate themselves. But in the absence of enough water in your body, the discs cannot rehydrate themselves. So they begin to shrink.

When your discs are dehydrated, all the pressure is put on the outer ring of the disc. That part cannot take so much load. It begins to collapse under pressure. As this collapse starts, the spinal nerves begin to receive the pressure, causing you to wince in pain. Thus, dehydration and lower back ache are intimately related to each other.

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Keeping The Discs Strong

When back pain happens due to dehydration, it is because of the material in the discs between the vertebrae. These discs need water to stay spongy and strong. When the discs collapse, the nerves in the back send a pain response to the brain.

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Every vertebra is separated from the next by a cushioning disc that is designed to absorb shock and help the spine move. Health care providers often describe the discs as being like jelly donuts, and when they are damaged, the jelly in the center escapes. Many people have serious pain from the nucleus pulposus leaking out of the discs from injuries. Fortunately, the discs will rehydrate, unless they are damaged.

But, if you are dehydrated, the nucleus pulposus will not rehydrate and the discs will collapse. Since the discs are designed to cushion the vertebrae, it becomes easy to see why the back hurts when the discs are no longer filled with cushioning material. The discs and the vertebrae work together to support the weight of the body. Without proper hydration, back pain happens as nerves in the spinal column become impinged. Pain can also happen as a result of herniated discs that swell from dehydration.

How Water Impacts Your Health


When there are proper levels of fluid in the body, then the natural systems can work to deliver nutrients to the cells. Additionally, hydration is important for protecting vital organs and tissues throughout the body. Good hydration affects blood volume and circulation, which can help to reduce recovery times.

Since the body is constantly using fluid resources, it means that your internal supply is always being depleted. So, it is important to drink water throughout the day to stay ahead of your hydration needs.

Also, keep in mind that dehydration increases the risk of chronic inflammation. Water is essential for flushing out the waste, which keeps your body in optimal condition to fight off chronic health issues.

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Understanding How Dehydration Causes Back Pain

Sometimes, it is easy to determine the cause of back pain. If youve ever fallen, done too much yard work, or sat for too long, you might have acute back pain that was easy to self-diagnose. But, there are times when back pain happens and you dont know why.

The cause of your back pain could be dehydration. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to get rid of back pain caused by dehydration, and it is possible to avoid having this type of back pain again.

Tips To Help You Stay Hydrated

The easiest way to stay hydrated is to drink more water. Over the years, experts have gone back and forth about how much water a person should drink and, unfortunately, there simply isn’t a uniform standard for every single person.

However, a good rule of thumb, according to Harvard Health, is 4-6 cups a day if you’re generally healthy. That said, you need to make sure that you’re monitoring yourself because your behavior does have an impact on the amount of water you need.

For example, if you’re outside on a humid summer day and you find that you’re sweating a lot, it means that you’re losing water at a quicker rate and should probably be drinking more to counteract dehydration.

You should drink even more water when you workout. Experts believe that it’s possible for the average person to lose anywhere between 17-50 ounces of water for every single hour of exercise.

So when you workout, drink more than you might think is necessary.

Keep an Eye on Your Urine. Thats right, your urine is one of the most accurate ways to tell if your body is hydrated.

Creating urine is how the body naturally gets rid of waste products that can float around in the bloodstream and extracts toxins that build up in the kidneys.

According to Harvard University, when your urine is dark yellow or amber, it means that there is less water and more waste than usual and a pretty strong indication that you’re not drinking enough.

If you’re healthy and hydrated, your urine should be a pale yellow color.

Water And Lower Back Pain

One of the common conditions we treat at our Physiotherapy clinics is lower back pain and pain in the spine. But what a lot of people dont know is that dehydration can make these pains worse. Thats because the spine is not only made of 24-vertebrae bone to protect the spinal cord, but there are also discs in between each of the vertebrae. These intervertebral discs can be described as soft-jelly like substances in the bodyand as you may have guessed, theyre composed of water. These discs act as a cushion for the spine and make movements much smoother and more comfortable. So when youre dehydrated, these discs are not cushioning your movements like they should be, and can be the root cause of back pain in the lower, mid, upper back and neck.

How To Stay Hydrated

Dehydration Can Cause Back Pain

Sip sip sip! Its no joke, drinking at least eight glasses of water each day is one of the best ways to keep your body working properly and in tip top shape. And while most people believe that their eight glasses have to be plain, its simply not true. Every little bit of fluid you drink each day counts. If youre not a person who can stomach chugging that much water, try adding different flavorings or spices to make it more enjoyable, such as lemon, mint, cucumber or whatever you prefer, as long as you get that water on board.

As well as your eight glasses of water each day, youll also get extra hydration from other drinks such as tea, milk or juice. Coffee acts as a diuretic so if you have coffee you should increase the amount of water that you drink! Its best to avoid sugary sodas though, as they have no good nutritional value. If you do prefer fizzy drinks, try flavored seltzer water, or mix fruit juice with club soda. This makes for a nice bubbly yet healthy alternative to soda.

Causes Of Upper Back Pain

Specific types of pain in upper back may respond to self-help measures and to targeted treatment approaches. Be wary of:

  • Poor posture: This is a major risk factor for upper back pain, particularly if your job involves computer use and you tend to hunch your shoulders when sitting at your desk. Constantly looking down at a cell phone while texting also can cause upper back pain. Its vital to maintain proper alignment from your head down through your body, because if your head juts forward, its weight pulls on the muscles in the upper back and neck, which get weak and overstretched. If you also have weak bones, your spine will curve forward, creating a structural change, so take steps to correct this when its still a postural problem, and not the way your spine is set. When youre standing and walking, keep your head lined up over your shoulders and your shoulders lined up with your hips. Also try to avoid hunching at your deskmake a point of taking computer breaks, and also set a timer that reminds you to do simple shoulder rolls that can help loosen the muscles of your upper back and avert pain.
  • Muscle strain: This often happens if you dont use the correct lifting technique. Always bend at the knees when lifting things, and carry heavy objects close to your body to lessen the strain on your back muscles that can result in pain.
  • Minimize And Avoid Twisting Motions

    The use of twisting motions should be carefully monitored and scaled back or eliminated as appropriate. When lifting heavy objects, twisting should be completely avoided.

    When doing heavy work, such as housework, try to keep twisting to a minimum too. In other activities, pay close attention to how you are moving your spine as well as any warning signs, such as pain or tightness, that may indicate trouble.

    Scale back on the twisting according to the warning signs your body gives you.

    Talk To A Joint Pain Expert For Personal Treatment Recommendations

    If you are experiencing joint pain, then it might be time to talk to an orthopedic doctor. You dont have to live with the pain! Together, we can work to find the right joint pain treatment to improve your comfort and optimize your lifestyle.

    At Orthopedic Associates, our bone and joint specialists are here to provide the quality services you need. We have a team of board-certified medical experts and offer a variety of cutting-edge treatments. Use our online form or call our office to request an appointment: 892-1440.

    Tips For Staying Hydrated

    Can Dehydration Cause Lower Back Pain?

    Becoming extremely dehydrated defined by the World Health Organization as losing more than 10 percent of your body weight in fluid can lead to injury or fatal complications, and it requires an ER visit. Seizures, cardiac arrhythmia, or hypovolemic shock can occur because your blood volume is too low.

    Yet it rarely comes to that. Most of the time, you can easily replenish your fluid stores and fend off dehydration. The truth is you can lose 3 to 4 percent of your body weight through dehydration without feeling any real symptoms, says Alp Arkun, MD, the chief of service for emergency medicine at the Kaiser Permanente Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers in Southern California. Yet, once you have lost 5 to 6 percent, youll start to feel the symptoms of mild dehydration, notes MedlinePlus. Thirst, fatigue, dizziness, or constipation are sure signs its time to reach for water or a sports drink thats low in sugar and high in electrolytes.

    But the signs of dehydration arent always so obvious. Here are six surprising signs and symptoms of dehydration.

    What You Should Know About Dehydration And Back Pain

    The link between backaches and dehydration is in the small discs in your spine!

    These little discs are jelly-like material that is close to 75% water.

    The outer ring is called the Nucleus Pulposus, and the inner ring is mainly water.

    Dehydration can cause back pain when the gelatinous material inside your discs lose water and are unable to hold the weight of your body.

    This causes the disc to collapse which can put pressure on the sensitive nerves exiting the spinal column.

    Between every two vertebrae in your spine, there is a disc and its primary job is to separate interlocking bones and provide cushioning, shock absorption, and mobility to the spine.

    You are shorter because of the water slowing releasing from the spinal discs.

    You return to your normal height in the morning because while you are sleeping the discs rehydrate fully.

    The discs try to hydrate throughout the day, but in the upright position, it is not as easy. Movement helps hydrate the discs during the day.

    When people ask, can drinking water help with my back pain, the answer is yes! You need the water in your body for the spinal discs to rehydrate.

    Not only do these little discs impact a very small part of your height but more importantly they affect your bodys daily function.

    The jelly-like discs are between every two vertebrae and absorb the shock of your everyday movement protecting your spine from wear and tear.

    Upper Back Pain Isnt As Common As Lower Back Pain But It Can Still Be Troublesome

    Your back is a complex structure that includes a stack of bones called vertebrae, separated and cushioned by spongy discs. Pain can arise from compressed or herniated discs, pinched nerves, or strained muscles.

    As a rule, upper back pain is unusual, since the upper back is structurally stronger than the lower back and also isnt as mobile, due to being connected to the rib cage. This lack of motion affords it some protection against the bending-twisting types of injury you might sustain in your lower back, which is significantly more mobile, and also against degenerative conditions like those that can cause spinal stenosis symptoms.

    You can ease your upper back pain with over-the-counter painkillers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Alternative approaches such as acupuncture and spinal manipulation therapies such as chiropractic and osteopathy also may help relieve upper back pain.

    Signs To Know You Are Dehydrated

    Most of us know that dehydration happens when you dont get enough water.

    Your body is almost 60 percent water and uses it for breathing, digestion, and every basic bodily function.

    You can lose water quickly by sweating too much on a hot day, or by exercising a lot.

    Your body also loses water through too much urination. You can get dehydrated if you have a fever, are vomiting, or have diarrhea.

    Dehydration can be serious. Fortunately, there are several ways to tell if youre dehydrated.

    You might have symptoms even with a little water loss because being dehydrated by even 1 or 2 percent can show signs and symptoms.

    Here are ten common signs and symptoms of dehydration:

  • Bad Breath
  • Rapid Heartbeat Or Irregular Pulse

    can dehydration cause lower back pain? things to know on back pain caused by dehydration| shunya yog

    A rapid heart rate and palpitations are also results of dehydration. Connected to both the lack of oxygen and blood flow, heart rates may be extremely high or even barely detectable. Usually, fast heartbeats result from a hot climate, but dehydration mainly causes rapid heartbeats from compensating for the lack of blood making its way to the vital parts of the body. Irregular heartbeats and palpitations happen due to the disruption in blood flow.

    What Are Signs Of Dehydrated Discs

    Watch for a dehydrated disc if you have current back problems or suspect your past hydrating practices may influence your spine health. The symptoms of dehydrated discs are typically an extreme pain in the lower back and numbness in the legs. The following symptoms are additional warning signs.

    • Bulging spots on the spine
    • Shooting pain through the legs
    • Tingling in the legs, especially accompanied by numbness
    • Weakness in leg muscles

    Dehydration Impacts Your Back Too

    • NSPC Team

    Summers heat has hit with full forceand with it comes the danger of dehydration. We all know that staying hydrated can stave off headaches and leg cramps, but dehydration can also have a significant impact on the back and spine.

    Dehydration can play a major role in back pain since it can cause the back muscles to spasm just like thigh and calf muscles. It is also important to remember that the joints and discs of the spinal column require adequate fluids to function properly. The jelly-like substance that is inside spinal discs consists primarily of water. If you dont stay hydrated, these discs will shrink and reduce the cushioning they provide between the vertebra.

    As you head out to enjoy summer activities in the sun and heat, be sure you bring along plenty of water and fruit to keep yourself well hydrated. While muscle aches and headaches are inconveniences, dehydration can lead to serious health conditions if not addressed, including seizures and life-threatening heatstroke.

    We hope you enjoy many days outside enjoying the sunshine this summer. But if your back, neck or other joints are keeping you from the fun, click on the following link to schedule an appointment. Our Board-Certified Pain Specialists can accurately diagnose and treat your pain so you can have fun all summer long.

    Common Signs Of Lumbar Discs Dehydration

    While the main effects of dehydration on your lumbar discs have been discussed above, there can be other minor signs as well. These can act as warning signs that you might need to consult a medical professional. It is a good idea to reevaluate your hydrating practices if any of these signs apply to you for your long term spine health.

    • Weakness in your legs
    • Shooting pain in your legs
    • Tingling or numbness in your legs
    • Bulges in your spinal region
    • Any problems in your pelvic region
    • Lack of proper reflexes in your legs


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