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Does Dehydration Cause Lower Back Pain

Causes Of Upper Back Pain

Ask The Doc – Can Dehydration Cause 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.
  • How Can You Stay Hydrated

    Most studies done in people of hydration and spine health have looked at age-related disc degeneration. So its not clear how dehydrated you need to be before your spine is affected. But that doesnt mean you should neglect drinking enough water each day.

    Drinking plenty of water is so important for everyone, but especially if you have degenerative disc disease, says Dearing.

    She adds that staying hydrated can help your spine in other ways, not just by maintaining the water content of the spinal discs.

    helps to curb appetite, which can be beneficial for those who are overweight or obese and are dealing with arthritis she says, and it helps to flush toxins out of our body.

    Staying hydrated is also important for other aspects of health, including heart health and protecting yourself from heat stroke.

    So how much water should you drink per day to stay hydrated? Many people have heard the rule: drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of water a day. While this saying has been around for a long time, theres not a lot of science to back it up.

    Most people will do fine by drinking water when they are thirsty the thirst instinct is very reliable. Although in older adults, it may not be as accurate, so they may need to be more mindful of staying hydrated.

    Of course, there are times when you will need to increase your fluid intake during exercise, in hot weather, or when you have vomiting or diarrhea.

    How Can I Get Myself To Drink More Water

    If you struggle to drink enough water, weve got a few suggestions. First, try keeping a water bottle next to you at all times. Youre more likely to sip on water if its convenient and less likely to drink if doing so requires you to get up from your desk to go get a drink. Second, try infusing your water with fruit or a small splash of fruit juice to add some extra flavor if you hate the taste of plain water. Naturally flavored sparkling water is also a great alternative. Finally, eat more fruits and vegetables, especially those with high water content. You can get more water than youd think just by eating foods that contain lots of water, like berries, watermelon, greens, and more.

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    Sip More Fluid During Meals

    Sipping water with meals will help you eat more slowly, pace your eating, and, of course, stay hydrated, Sakimura says. Drinking water before eating may furthermore help with weight loss, as it did for participants of a study published in the journal Obesity in August 2015. During a small randomized controlled trial involving 84 subjects, participants who drank 500 milliliters of water 30 minutes before eating lost an average of 1.3 kilograms at the 12-week follow-up.

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    How Does Water Support A Healthy Spine

    Degenerative Disc Disease: What Is It &  Should I Care?

    The spinal discs contain up to 85 percent water. Most of this water is present in the the soft center of the disc, or nucleus pulposus. The tough outer ring of the disc, the annulus fibrosis, also contains water, but in lower amounts. This high water content in the discs helps the spine function normally.

    Dr. Ehsan Jazini, a spine surgeon at Virginia Spine Institute, in Reston, Virginia, says the discs act like shock absorbers, which enable the spine to resist being compressed during activities like sitting, running and walking.

    When you are sitting or standing, the spinal discs are compressed by the weight that they are supporting. This causes some of the water to be squeezed out of the disc. Some research shows that the spinal discs in the lower spine lose about 20 percent of their water over the course of a days activities.

    At night, when you lie down, most of the load on the discs is removed. When that happens, water flows slowly back into the disc. However, for this to happen, the body has to be adequately hydrated.

    It is important to continuously rehydrate this critical structure in order to provide adequate cushion in our spine, says Jazini, lowers the risk of back pain and of developing a more serious spinal condition.

    The daily flow of water into and out of the spinal discs also has another important purpose feeding the discs.

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    Bad Breath Is A Possible Warning Sign Of Dehydration

    Saliva has antibacterial properties, but dehydration can prevent your body from making enough saliva.

    If youre not producing enough saliva, you can get bacterial overgrowth in the mouth, and one of the side effects of that is bad breath, says John Higgins, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of Texas in Houston and the chief of cardiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston.

    Its the same reason you may wake up with morning breath: Saliva production slows down during sleep, notes the Mayo Clinic, leading to an unpleasant taste in the mouth as bacteria grow. So the next time your mouth seems dry and your breath smells less-than-fresh, it may be time to rehydrate.

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    Movement And Gravity Decrease Water

    As the discs undergo wear and tear, the water loss causes the discs to thin, thus altering the tissue density. Movements like jumping, running, walking and bending all take away some of the fluid in the spinal discs. The pressure from everyday activities leaches the water from the discs, and the weight of gravity presses on the spinal discs, which also takes some water from the stores in the discs. Stress and pressure contribute to degeneration. One effect of the loss of water is a reduction in disc size and an inability to cushion like they once could. Movement becomes difficult when the discs have shrunk enough to stop sustaining the proper distance and connection of cartilage and vertebrae.

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    Treating Back Pain Caused By Dehydration

    A treatment plan for getting your spine back in shape will be tailored based on the severity of the damage. If a disc has collapsed due to a lack of cushioning, it will be necessary to get that disc back into alignment to allow blood flow to be restored within the spine. This alone will help to relieve much of the tension and pain that youre feeling. However, it wont be enough on its own without some much-needed lifestyle changes. Many people are surprised by just how easy it is to become dehydrated when were not vigilant about our water intake. Thats why repairing back pain caused by dehydration is really a two-pronged plan that includes both correction of the spinal collapse and lifestyle changes.

    Relieve Your Pain And Revive Your Life

    Low back pain- The most common causes of lower back pain

    If you are experiencing back pain or spine problems, seek treatment at a facility with an honest environment, clear and understandable treatment options and the most effective procedures for your pain. At the Metropolitan Pain & Spine Institute, we offer this, and our professional and personable staff strive to find the right care path for you. We are a leader in the least invasive spine procedures and practitioners of techniques such as endoscopic discectomy, endoscopic facet rhizotomy and spinal cord stimulation.

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    How Do I Know If I Have A Dehydration Headache

    There are many different types of headaches. Some headaches have no known cause. Healthcare providers call these primary headaches.

    Dehydration headaches are secondary headaches because providers know what causes them. You probably have a dehydration headache if:

    • Headache pain goes away or gets better with water and rest.
    • Pain is only in your head .
    • You also have other symptoms of dehydration.

    If your headache doesnt get better after drinking water and resting, see your provider for a checkup. Another condition or illness may be causing your headache. Your provider may order imaging studies to see pictures of your brain and determine whats causing the pain.

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    If youre looking for reputable back and spine doctors, contact us today at to learn more about our treatment procedures.

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    What Back Pain Treatment Options Are Available To Me Dehydration Can It Cause Lower Back Pain

    There are many methods for treating back pain at home, but only a few of these have been proven to be effective. The most common treatment is rest and applying ice to the painful area. This treatment is very relaxing and should be used for only 10-20 minutes. It should never be applied while you sleep. Also, exercise and stretching exercises are essential for keeping muscles and supporting tissues flexible. While some of these methods may not seem like they are effective for you, they can help you overcome your back pain.

    Physical therapy is a good option for treating back pain. It will help you improve your posture and strengthen your core muscles. Massage therapy and acupuncture are other options for relieving tension and reducing joint pain. Some people also find that water therapy improves flexibility and balance, while yoga helps them heal faster from injuries. Proper nutrition and lifestyle changes are also important for treating back pain. It is very important to consult a physician if you are experiencing back pain because it will help you avoid more serious conditions later on.

    Dehydration And Back Pain: How Water Affects Spine Health

    Kidney Pain From Dehydration

    You might think your spine is mostly bone. But theres actually a lot of water in the spinal discs that are tucked in between the vertebrae, or bones of the spine.

    These discs act like shock absorbers. They enable the spine to support weight and provide flexibility to the spine. The large water content of the discs helps them carry out these roles.

    When the discs lose water, they no longer work as well as they did before, which can cause back pain and other symptoms.

    The discs naturally lose some water as you age. But dehydration can also occur when you are not getting enough water, either by itself or in your food. If the dehydration is severe enough, it may increase the risk of injury to the spine or aggravate an existing spine condition.

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    How Dehydration Can Affect Your Spine

    If you struggle with chronic dehydration, then your spine may not be getting enough water and nutrients. The spinal discs that separate vertebrae in your spine are flexible and gel-like, providing cushioning and shock absorption. If these structures dont get enough fluids, they can start to dry out, crack, and affect their functioning. If your spine isnt properly lubricated, it can make everyday movements start to be more painful and uncomfortable, even if you werent recently injured and cant pinpoint an obvious reason why. As the spinal discs lose their elasticity, they are not able to effectively absorb shock or prevent vertebrae from rubbing against one another.

    How Can I Test Myself For Dehydration

    Take the skin on your knuckles and pinch it. If the skin goes down easily, then you are hydrated. You need to drink more water if it takes you a long time to go down. If your skin is very dry, you may want to use a moisturizing cream or lotion to moisturize the area. This will help to keep the moisture in.

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    How Do I Prevent A Dehydration Headache

    The best way to avoid a dehydration headache is to stay hydrated. To prevent dehydration, you should:

    • Drink plenty of fluids: Carry water with you when you leave home, and take sips throughout the day.
    • Hydrate before you feel thirsty: Drink fluids throughout the day. Dont wait until you feel thirsty. If you wait until youre craving water, youre already a little dehydrated. People who are older might not feel thirsty at all because you can lose your sense of thirst as you age.
    • Replace the fluids you lose: When youre exercising or doing physical activity, take water breaks often. During some sports , you may not notice how much youre sweating. Drinking fluid throughout the day prior to participating in a sport is also helpful.
    • Take a break when you need to rest: Listen to your body. If you feel tired or dizzy, take a water break.
    • Watch the heat: If youre outside on a hot day, drink extra water. Rest often, and find a way to stay cool in hot weather.

    Can Dehydration Producecomplications


    If not corrected, dehydration can produce seriouscomplications and eventually lead to death. The following are the most commoncomplications of dehydration:

    • Heat injury: you can develop heat exhaustion orheat stroke as a result of being severely dehydrated. Heat injury is commonduring extremely hot weather and after vigorous exercise without fluidreplenishment. Signs of heat injury include extreme cramping, incoherenttalking, falling, fainting, and loss of consciousness.
    • Damage to the kidneys and urinary system:long-term dehydration or repeated episodes of dehydration can lead to kidneystones, urinary tract infections , and kidney failure.
    • Seizures: severe electrolyte imbalance resultingfrom dehydration can cause seizures, which can range from mild episodes to aloss of consciousness.
    • Shock: hypovolemic shock happens when your bloodvolume gets too low. Typically this happens as the result of blood loss, but itcan occur during dehydration as well. Hypovolemic shock can, in turn, lead todeath.

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    Tips To Stay Hydrated

    Stay hydrated to protect your back and spine from serious pain down the road. Follow these practices to help your body regularly replenish and fortify the discs in your spine so that your back remains healthy.

    • Eat fruits and vegetables, because they also contain water.
    • Check your urine.
    • Gradually drink water throughout the day.
    • Limit diuretics like coffee, tea, alcohol and sodas because they cause you to rapidly lose water.
    • Drink more water when you exercise or if you are in a hot climate.

    What Happens In The Spine During Back Pain

    The spine is made up of 33 interlocking bones called vertebrae. Between each pair of adjacent vertebrae lies an intervertebral disc. These discs prevent the vertebrae grinding against one another when you move. They allow flexibility and protect the bones from shocks . Changes or damage to the intervertebral discs can create discomfort and pain in the back.

    The intervertebral discs contain contain large amounts of water. In particular, the nucleus pulposus, a region of semi-gelatinous material at the center of each disc, is about 80% water . The water content allows the nucleus pulposus to evenly distribute pressure from the vertebra in all directions. It also acts as a cushion and shock absorber for any jarring movements in the spine .

    The fluid levels within the intervertebral discs are not constant, because as you move around the nucleus pulposus loses water. This causes the intervertebral discs to thin . Similarly, the weight of gravity compressing your spine also leads to water releasein fact, by the end of the day you can be up to half an inch shorter than when you woke up . Normally this is fine the discs rehydrate and repair every day, allowing them to effectively cushion your spine once again.

    Degeneration can also cause the disc to bulge outward, pressing on nerves and causing pain. Even more serious, the disc can herniate, or press through a crack in its tough outer covering . Again, this may lead to pressure on the nerves in the back and cause pain .

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    How To Start Drinking More Water

    Its vital to drink enough water throughout the day. More than just preserving your back and spinal health, water consumption can improve metabolism, prevent headaches, and maximize physical performance. If youre someone who forgets to drink water, try some of these tips:

    • Set daily goals and reminders
    • Carry around a reusable water bottle
    • Flavor your water
    • Eat foods high in waterzucchini, watermelon, or cabbage

    Any of these tips can help keep your body in peak performance, and finding more ways to increase your water intake can improve your back and spine health.


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