Dehydration and the Spine
Our spinal column wears naturally over time, gradually degenerating according to age and lifestyle. This means that muscles along the spinal column slowly lose elasticity and mass, while spinal discs (the shock-absorbing pads between our vertebrae) lose pliability and height while becoming harder and less capable of bearing shock. The ends of our facet joints (the joints that link the vertebrae and allow for the articulation of the spinal column) are encased in cartilage which also naturally wears over time. Wear and tear on all of the spinal column’s components is exacerbated by lifestyle choices: obesity (excess weight) , repeated heavy lifting and twisting, overextension, and long periods of sedentary activity.
Dehydration also has negative consequences for the spinal column, but many people do not realize its’ risks. A patient in a dehydrated or near-dehydrated state exacerbates the wear on all of his or her joints, including the facet joints in the spinal column. This puts nearby spinal nerves at risk, as dehydrated spinal discs are thinner and vertebrae are physically closer together than they would be otherwise. Incidence of compressed spinal nerves (and corresponding sharp back pain and extremity pain) is higher when dehydrated spinal discs and facet joints are unable to keep nearby vertebrae from impinging on spinal nerves.
A preventive lifestyle can go a long way toward preventing dehydration-related back pain. Proper weight management, regular cardiovascular exercise, healthy dieting (nutrition) , hydration and adequate rest are all pillars of the preventive lifestyle physicians recommend for combating a wide variety of illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. If you live an active lifestyle or engage in physically strenuous activity for work or during recreation, consider supplementing your water with electrolytes.
While proper hydration may help mediate your back pain, it will not likely be cured by hydration alone. You should explore other long-term strategies, such as physical therapy, chiropractic, to mediate pain levels. Physical therapy for the spine performed by a physical therapist, or chiropractic performed by a chiropractor, develops muscles along the spinal column and throughout the torso. These muscles assist degenerated spinal discs and facet joints in managing the body’s weight distribution and can relieve pressure from the body’s joints. Physical therapy also represents a long-term solution for back pain, as it mediates pain levels and helps patients retain their mobility as they age. Before implementing a regimen, however, patients are advised to check with their physicians to verify that the stability of their spinal column is up to the challenge. Doctors will most likely need several checkups (including imaging tests) to determine a course of treatment that’s right for you.
Experts in spine at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) are extremely experienced at treating a large variety of disorders of the spine, which may cause pain in the neck, low back, or the arms or legs. While non-surgical measures are implemented most of the time, surgery on the spine (including the most advanced minimally invasive spine surgery techniques) are available when needed.
Patients suffering from neck pain or lower back pain, or who have been told they may require a spine surgery, can contact the Kraus Back and Neck Institute at
……. Or visit www.SpineHealth.com to SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE
KBNI cares for patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center (TMC) and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.
Keywords: dehydration, spinal column, spinal disks, back pain, obesity, nutrition, dieting, back injury prevention, physical therapy, Houston, Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center (TMC)