The Connection Between Dehydration and Back Pain


It is a well-known fact that drinking water is an important part of your health. You know that you need it, but do you actually get enough? Many people do not get enough water and wind up in a state of constant dehydration. More than 50% of your body is made up of water, and if it is not hydrated properly, the negative side effects can occur. A few of these negative side effects include dizziness, headaches, fainting, and even back pain.

When your body does not receive the proper amount of water and you become dehydrated, then water is taken from the spinal discs that are located between every other vertebra. As a result, you could start experiencing back pain. When the spinal discs are not hydrated properly, the spine takes on the full shock of the body’s movements, which causes pain. The following information will help you understand the connection between dehydration and back pain.

What’s the Connection?

The link between back pain and dehydration are the small, jelly-like discs in your spine, which are about 75% water. The nucleus pulposus, which is the outer ring, and the inner ring are mainly water. As you go about your day, water is slowly being released from the spinal discs. You actually could be up to a half inch shorter than when you woke up. As you sleep, the discs rehydrate so you go back to your full height in the morning. Your discs have a hard job of staying hydrated throughout the day. It is challenging for them to stay hydrated in an upright position; therefore, it is important to stay hydrated and to move often during the day.

When the discs of your spine are not hydrated right, then they are unable to support and protect your spine the way they should. The jelly-like discs protect the spine from wear and tear and take on the shock of everyday movements. When they are not able to work the right way, more stress will be placed upon the spine which can result in swelling, pain, and bulging discs.

How to Know If You Are Dehydrated

Here are 10 signs that imply dehydration:

  • Bad breath
  • Dry skin
  • Dark urine
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Blurry vision/dry eyes
  • Anger
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Dizziness

Ways to Stay Hydrated

  • When working out, make sure you drink electrolytes along with water
  • Download an app on your phone that will track the amount of water you are consuming
  • If water is too bland for your liking, try adding flavoring such as fresh fruit, lemon, cucumbers, etc. to make it more appealing
  • Add fresh raw fruits and vegetables to your diet
  • Pay attention to your urine
  • Buy a reusable water bottle with a design that will help you stay motivated or one that tracks the ounces you drink
  • Set a time to keep track of how much water you are drinking

The most important thing to remember is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Not only does water help your overall health, but it also helps keep you hydrated and could keep any back pain at bay. If you are experiencing back pain due to dehydration or any other reasons, contact North County Pain Relief. Our experienced chiropractors can help you find the relief you are looking for without relying on pain medications. If you would like to see how chiropractic care can help you, call us today at (314) 731-4201 to discuss it with one of our team members.