We get asked a lot of questions by our patients, and one comes up pretty frequently: Can dehydration cause back pain? The simple answer is yes. If you’re dealing with bothersome back pain, not drinking enough water might be contributing to your troubles. Drinking enough water every day is key to keeping your spinal discs healthy and functioning.
Can Dehydration Cause Back Pain?
Unhealthy spinal discs are a common cause of back pain, and not drinking enough water can be a big contributor to poor spinal health. The spinal discs contain a jelly-like substance—known as the nucleus pulposus—that helps cushion the vertebrae that make up your spinal column. With the help of healthy discs, you’ll have more flexibility and range of motion, better overall nervous system function, and of course, one less potential cause of back pain.
Your discs need to stay hydrated so that they can perform their essential function. Without the right daily water intake, you’re putting yourself at greater risk of suffering from bulging or herniated discs, which can lead to even more severe back pain and a need for more extensive care. In effect, staying hydrated is like preventative maintenance to ensure a healthy spine, not to mention critical for better health overall.
How to Ensure You’re Drinking Enough Water
Can dehydration cause back pain? Absolutely. But this begs the question of what you can do to make sure you’re staying properly hydrated. The well-known recommendation for making sure you’re drinking enough water is eight glasses a day. But that may not necessarily be enough to do the trick.
A less well-known but more accurate recommendation is to drink about a half-ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you’re 180 pounds, that would mean you’ll be safe drinking 90 ounces of water, which is over 11 cups a day. You also need to take your level of physical activity into account—if you’re in the sun or exercising, drink more water than normal. If you’re having a hard time, you can try other tips to stay hydrated, like using an app to track water intake or eating more fruits and vegetables.
Take Care of Your Spinal Discs with Shields Chiropractic
If you’re dealing with pain, drinking enough water is just one thing you can do to get your back back on track. For even more help maintaining healthy spinal discs, schedule an appointment at Shields Chiropractic in Saginaw, MI. We can help you get back to living pain-free with the help of chiropractic care.