Can Dehydration Cause Back Pain? Symptoms & Treatment
When you think of dehydration, you probably think of signs like extreme thirst and parched lips. But, dehydration can also lead to problems including back pain, muscle cramps, and spinal issues. In fact, dehydration can impact every system in your body. That means it’s extremely important to understand how dehydration impacts your body and what you can do about those effects.
Here, we’ll answer the question “Can dehydration cause back pain?” We’ll show you how dehydration affects your back and spine. Plus, you’ll learn about the general impacts of dehydration on your health.
Can Dehydration Cause Back Pain?
So can dehydration cause back pain? Yes. Dehydration can lead to spinal pain and muscle pain due to cramping.
To understand how dehydration causes back pain, you need to understand the structure of your spine as well as the importance of fluid in the system.
Your spine is designed to offer flexibility, movement, and protection for your spinal cord. The structure consists of spinal discs and vertebrae, which are cushioned by cartilage. This cushioning cartilage is made up of 80 percent water. The discs and vertebrae also contain fluids and gelatinous substances, which are known as the nucleus pulposus. This fluid is surrounded by a tougher outer ring of fiber called the annulus fibrosus.
The nucleus pulposus is largely made of water. As you go about your day, the fluid in your discs and vertebrae gradually decreases. This fluid loss occurs when you run, walk, stretch, and move around. Your body replaces this water regularly throughout the day to keep your spine lubricated and protected through a process known as intradiscal fluid exchange. The exchange only occurs when your body is at rest — like when you’re sleeping, sitting down, or relaxing.
However, when dehydration sets in, there isn’t enough fluid to keep your spine lubricated. When fully lubricated, the nucleus pulposus protects your spine from impacts and keeps the bones from grinding together. In a state of dehydration, the fluid is gone and so is the protection.
That means your discs start to compress and collapse. This creates pressure on the nerves in your spine, causing lower back pain. Dehydrated discs can also swell, and if you’re carrying out a strenuous activity, the risk of degeneration and a herniated disc increases. But pain isn’t just limited to the area around your spine. Back pain caused by dehydration can result in discomfort in your neck, back, and legs.
In addition, your body prioritizes where it sends fluids when you’re dehydrated. Large organs like your heart and lungs receive water before fluids are sent to your back. That means even mild to moderate dehydration can lead to back pain and other issues.
Signs of Dehydration
So how do you know if you’re dehydrated? Luckily, dehydration has several signs you can watch out for. First, it’s important to see if your back pain is accompanied by signs of dehydration.
- Dry mouth and dry skin
- Decreased urination or dark urine
- Blood pressure changes
- Extreme thirst
- Lightheadedness and fatigue
- Confusion and irritability
- Sunken eyes
Signs of Dehydrated Discs
If you suspect you’re suffering from dehydration, also keep an eye out for signs of back issues. Likewise, if you suffer from other back problems like sciatica, dehydration can exacerbate the pain. But many people with healthy spines can also experience back pain caused by dehydration.
Here are some indicators of dehydrated discs and vertebrae to watch out for:
- Significant low back pain
- Numbness or tingling in your legs
- Shooting leg pain
- Bulges near your spine
- Difficulty controlling leg reflexes
If you have regular back pain, you may need to see a chiropractic specialist. A chiropractor can assess the health of your spine and identify if your issues stem from a condition like chronic dehydration. Depending on your situation, they may recommend physical therapy or lifestyle changes like drinking 70 ounces of water or more a day.
As soon as you recognize the signs of dehydration, you can spring into action to remedy the situation fast. By practicing proper hydration throughout the day, you can also avoid unwanted episodes of back pain caused by dehydration.
How to Avoid Back Paid from Dehydration
To avoid dehydration, you need to know how it occurs. Dehydration is caused by excessive sweating, illnesses that cause diarrhea and vomiting, and simply not consuming enough fluids and electrolytes. Dehydration can occur in both cold and hot weather. Certain medications like diuretics and medical conditions that affect the kidneys and liver can also increase the risk of dehydration.
At the end of the day, dehydration occurs when you lose more fluids and electrolytes than you’re replacing. It’s not just about water either — your body needs electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. These electrolytes play a key role in muscle movement and water retention. If they become imbalanced, dehydration can occur.
That means you can’t just increase your water intake or eat foods that have a high water content when you’re battling dehydration. You need to replenish both water and electrolytes quickly.
Crush Dehydration That Causes Back Pain With DripDrop
Fluids are essential for spine health and overall health. Your discs and vertebrae use fluids as shock absorbers to protect your spinal column when you’re working out or simply moving about your day. That’s why drinking water and staying hydrated is so important.
However, your body and spine need electrolytes to function properly. That’s why a rehydration solution like DripDrop is the best choice for defeating and avoiding dehydration. For cases of mild to moderate dehydration, DripDrop is a fast, effective, and great-tasting remedy. The convenient packaging allows you to have DripDrop when you need it, where you need it.