Importance of Hydration for Pain Management

Dehydration Leads to Pain.

Some people experience more neck pain, back pain, or other pain in the summer. As warmer weather approaches, many of us become “weekend warriors” and pay the price Monday morning. Today, Dr. Vidyarthi would like to talk about a less obvious cause of pain in the summer months.

Your body is approximately 65% water. We lose a large amount of water when we sweat in response to heat and humidity. The resulting dehydration can lead to weakness, dizziness, and feeling sluggish, and can also negatively impact the spine.

Spinal discs are shock absorbers that keep your vertebrae (bones) from rubbing together. The spine is exposed to significant stress throughout the day, even with typical activities such as walking. A well-hydrated and lubricated disc absorbs and cushions your spine from the constant pounding. However, with dehydration, the all-important shock absorbers become rigid and hard leading to neck and back pain.

Staying Hydrated

  1. When to drink. Drink enough fluids throughout your summer activities to stay ahead of the curve. If you are feeling thirsty after exercising or working, you may already be dehydrated.
  2. Sources of water. Fruits and vegetables are over 90% water. Summer is a great time to visit your local farmer’s market. Want to stay hydrated with fresh fruit and relieve your pain? Check out our anti-inflammatory smoothie recipe.
  3. Keeping it safe. There is such a thing as too much water. Water intoxication or water poisoning can lead to seizures and death. Discuss with your doctor how much water you should drink, especially if you have medical conditions such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, or kidney disease.

If you are chronically dehydrated, you may not feel the benefit of the additional hydration immediately. Your body could take several weeks to return to a normal hydration level.