One of the Most Important Things to do Daily: Drink Water

Does dehydration lead to back problems? Absolutely, dehydration can cause many joint problems throughout the body. When the body doesn't have enough water it becomes very primal and restricts water to what it needs to survive for that day. Things like the heart, lungs, digestive system, and primal areas of the brain get priority while other areas suffer. Some of the most noticeable areas are upper level brain function, muscles and joints. Restricting better flow to higher functioning levels of the brain leads to forgetfulness, brain fog and depression. Decreased flow to muscles leads to build-up of lactic acid (a byproduct of muscle) causing pain, dysfunction, inflexibility, lack of strength and increased injuries. As a chiropractor my biggest interest is my patients' joints. Without sufficient water intake the joint will not lubricate itself leading to grinding, wearing down and advanced degeneration (progressive osteo-arthritis), which is similar to running a car engine without oil. This is usually felt first in the knees due to the amount of impact they take on a daily basis but will affect other joints in the body, including the spine. Discs between vertebrae are very water sensitive and when dehydrated are more susceptible to bulges and herniations.

The exact amount of water for a person has been a big debate for many years. However, studies show that the majority of patients get a decrease in joint pain simply by drinking more water. The common theory is eight glasses per day (64 oz), while some nutritionists recommend that patients drink half of their body weight in ounces. We usually tell our patients a minimum of 64 oz for everyone and the more active their lifestyle the more they need. Coffee, alcohol, soda pop, and some teas do not count towards water intake. Some sports drinks are so concentrated with sugars and salts that they can actually dehydrate people. I would suggest mixing ½ sports drink with ½ water and only after 45 minutes of sweating activity. Increased water intake has another wonderful benefit. The body cannot burn fat without extra water (Krebs cycle) so dieters that are not drinking enough water will end up burning muscle for energy instead of fat. Decreased lean muscle leads to a slowing of the metabolism hurting further fat burning potential.

Bottoms up to good health!! If there are any questions or you would like an evaluation please contact our office at (412)795-2900.