You have heard plenty about how you should drink more water for your health. But were you aware that water plays a big role in the health of your spine? You definitely need water for the proper functioning of your bodily systems and that includes your spine. If you don’t get enough water you can run into problems with your back and neck, problems you definitely want to avoid. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to avoid them – you just need to drink enough water!
To appreciate the value of water for your spine, you first need to understand some of the basics about how your spine is structured and how it functions. Each of your vertebrae is stacked on top of one another – but not directly on top of one another. In between each sits a spinal disc, which is similar to a little donut filled with gel. Each disc helps cushion the bones in your spine from contact with each other. They allow you to bounce and twist through life without grinding your vertebrae together.
The exterior of your spinal discs is tough and strong, but the inside is filled with a material that is much softer, somewhat resembling gel. Every time you compress the disc, a little bit of water is released. The water needs to be replenished for the disc to function properly.
There is no way to live without compressing your spinal discs. Just sitting upright your discs are holding back gravity. You want to be able to move without pain or discomfort, so you need functional discs. Water is a big part of what makes those discs functional.
If you do not have enough water in your system, your discs will fail to refill and will not work the way they should. They will remain deflated and put you at a higher risk of friction between your vertebrae. Friction is the enemy because it can lead to nerve compression, bone loss and general pain and discomfort.
Your spine is actually lower on the list of important areas of your body to maintain when you are dehydrated – so your body will pull water away from your spine if it needs hydration for more important things like your brain and vital organs. That means you can have enough water in your system to stay alive and relatively functional, but not enough to keep your spine working properly.
Remember, wear and tear on the spine is not always instantly obvious. Living a lifestyle that keeps you mildly dehydrated can put extra strain on your spine over a long period of time, leading to a gradual degradation of your discs and joints. You may not even realize there is a problem until you are in serious pain and requiring medical attention.
A healthy lifestyle that includes plenty of water and lots of healthy nutrition – like fruits and vegetables, which include a lot of water – is important for maintaining spinal health. Combining a healthy lifestyle with regular chiropractic care can go even further to maintain the health of your back, neck and joints.
Comprehensive chiropractic care can include things like nutritional and lifestyle consultations – to help you develop healthy habits – along with regular chiropractic adjustments. You can work with your chiropractor to build healthier habits and get help achieving proper spinal alignment to avoid back and neck pain.
If you have questions about spinal health or would like to get an adjustment, please contact our chiropractic office today!
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