Preventing Back Injury-Staying hydrated at work and play

The weather is warming the days are longer and we want to get out and do as much as we can during this time of year.  It’s prime time for working and playing outdoors.  It’s also an excellent time to talk about the importance of staying hydrated while playing, exercising or working.

Everyone knows that our bodies are made up mostly of water.  Water is necessary for digestion, balancing the electrolytes in the body, flushing toxins and maintaining our body temperature.  What most don’t realize is that the disks between our vertebra, from the base of the skull to the tailbone are filled with water.  When we injure our back, the disks in our spine become misshaped and compress pinching the nerves that radiate out from the spinal cord to the other parts of the body and cause back pain.  When you are dehydrated, the disk has less water in it and compresses more resulting in more pain.  Even if we haven’t injured our back, dehydration can cause the disk to compress and give us that nagging feeling in our back that we usually just write off as daily fatigue.

Other common side effects of dehydration are muscle cramps in the arms and legs, fatigue, trouble concentrating and feeling hungry even though you just ate not that long ago.  Dehydration can also lead to other serious medical concerns.  Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are all too common on the playing fields and job sites and can result in death if not treated immediately and correctly.

Preventing dehydration is easy.  Drink your water!  Most adults will process three (3) quarts of water a day through perspiration and activity.  And if you are working or playing hard, that amount will be more.  Most of the information published will recommend 8-10, 8 ounce glasses of water a day for proper hydration.  For those working and playing hard that amount is closer to 12-16, 8 ounce glasses of water a day.

*If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated*

It is also important to note that drinks such as soft drinks, drinks containing caffeine such as coffee and tea, alcohol and many energy drinks will not give your body the hydration it needs and can even make your dehydration worse.  Many of the sports and energy drinks available today are more sugar or high fructose corn syrup than useful electrolytes and therefore should be avoided also.  To know if the drink you are about to consume is going to help or hurt you, read the label.  If the first or second ingredient is sugar or high fructose corn syrup, don’t drink it.  They will only increase your dehydration and discomfort.  And don’t think that the “diet” drinks are better because they don’t have sugar of high fructose corn syrup.  The chemicals used to “sweeten” diet drinks are known to cause an unhealthy retention of water which doesn’t allow the body to use the water for hydration.

So to help prevent back pain during this prime time of year, stay hydrated.  This will help you have a safe, healthy and happy year.

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20 thoughts on “Preventing Back Injury-Staying hydrated at work and play

  1. Awesome post! I never knew there was a connection between back pain and hydration. Yet another reason to drink your water!

  2. Water is sooo important! It helps everything!

  3. Chris White

    Great article. Most don’t understand how important water is.

  4. Excellent post! Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

  5. I keep water at my desk and drink from a 32oz water bottle and shoot for 3 bottles daily by the time I leave the office and then green tea at home for the rest of the evening. I think the toilet is my new BFF. Besides I get alot of exercises running back and forth. LOL But water is one of the best things u can feed your body daily! Great post!

  6. Sounds great. Drink the water people.

  7. Very interesting. Good thing I carry water with me everywhere. Water is really so important.

  8. People do underestimate water! It is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

  9. For such a long time I would suffer from headaches and afternoon fatigue and I thought it was just something I would have to get used to…that is until I realized I was just chronically dehydrated. Once I started making it a goal to drink plenty of water, the headaches went away and my energy levels increased. Great post!

  10. One word…l’agua.

  11. I totally agree with this, and I’m guilty of not drinking enough of it!

  12. hydratttteeeeee it helps everything!

  13. How easy could I have fixed my back pain? Drink water. I had no idea. I’m probably a good example of chronically dehydrated also. I’m working hard to change that. I’m up to almost a gallon a day.

  14. Great read! Thanks for the info.

  15. Good back health; yet another benefit to proper hydration!

  16. As somebody who is going through some back issues right now I can really appreciate an article like this. Tahnks

  17. Great advice, Rick! People underestimate the importance of water.

  18. Another benefit of drinking plenty of water.

  19. Great tips Rick. I drink plenty of water because at times I get muscle cramps in my legs and that feeling is not good. You need to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated through the day with all that we do.

  20. Great article Rick! I love my drinks cold, cold, cold; so I keep a pitcher of water in my frig at all times. Throw in some lemon slices and I have a super refreshing drink!

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