Is Dehydration the Cause of your Back Pain?

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You’ve heard it time and time again: drink water! Water makes up more than 50% of your body, and when you aren’t properly hydrated you can suffer form the effects of dehydration, including dizziness, headaches, and fainting. Additionally, dehydration could be the cause of your back pain!

Dehydration effects your back because it takes water from the spinal discs that are located between every other vertebra, which leads to backaches. When your discs aren’t hydrated, your spine takes on the full shock of your body’s movements, resulting in pain. Here is what you need to know.


As we mentioned, the link between back pain and dehydration are the small discs in your spine. Those little discs are jelly-like and nearly 75% water. The other ring, aka the nucleus pulposus, and the inner ring are mainly water. Fun fact: by the end of the day, you could be up to a half an inch shorter than when you woke up. That is because throughout the course of the day, water is slowly released the the spinal discs. When you are sleeping, the discs rehydrate, so you return to your full height in the morning. Your discs try to stay good and hydrated throughout the day, but face the challenge of an upright position. To help your discs stay hydrated, remember to drink plenty of water and keep moving throughout the day.

When those discs are not properly hydrated, they can’t function as they should and provide the support and protection your spine needs. The jelly-like discs are located between every two vertebrae and they absorb much of the shock from everyday movements while also protecting the spine from wear and tear. If they can’t perform the tasks they were designed to do because of dehydration, your spine will take on additional stress causing swelling, pain, and even bulging discs.


Staying hydrated isn’t always easy, so we’ve put together some of our favorite tips and tricks. Make a goal of drinking 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce of water per pound you weigh each day. So, if you weight 200 pounds, try to drink 100 ounces of water daily.

  • When working out, drink water and additional electrolytes

  • Bored of plain water? Add flavoring like lemon juice or fresh mint to make it more appealing

  • Eat plenty of fresh raw fruits and vegetables

  • Monitor the color/clarity your urine

  • Purchase a reusable water bottle that you like so you will feel good about carrying it with you

  • Download a water tracking app to remind you to drink up

If you think your back pain might be caused by dehydration and you’d like a professional opinion, contact us today! Our team of chiropractic professionals will be happy to provide you with the guidance you need to achieve the best health possible.