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Hope Health Healing

Drink up! – The importance of hydration

This is one of those ‘ah-ha!’ moments in my journey with back pain, but it is relevant to any ‘body’ who would like to function to the best of their ability.

I always knew drinking water and keeping hydrated was important for your general health and your skin etc but one day I read about it playing a crucial element in pain management. When I looked further into it, it then made perfect sense.

Photo Source: Pinterest

Our bodies are made up of 60-70% water, when you break that down and are looking specifically at the spinal discs, for example, they themselves are composed of about 80% water!   The main job of spinal discs is to act as shock absorbers for the vertebrae of the spine. Through years of working, activity and general weight on the spine even, these discs can become dehydrated, so it makes perfect sense to keep them as hydrated and ‘plump’ as we can as this helps prevent injury and speeds up and enhances healing.

Another great illustration of why keeping hydrated is so important is to see the massive effect alcohol can have on our brains. Now a lot of us will know that fuzzy feeling the morning after a few drinks, but it is fascinating to know exactly what’s happening there…. The ‘Office of Alcohol Policy and Education’ explains it brilliantly;

“Alcohol is a diuretic and causes our system to shed water. The more water we lose the more dehydrated we get and the more likely we are to experience a hangover. The headache of a hangover is actually caused by the shrinkage of our brain dura (the membrane that encases our brain) due to dehydration.”

I would definitely notice an increase in my pain levels the following days after I’ve had a night out and had a few more drinks than I normally would. It makes perfect sense now that I know why and it makes me happily swap a few drinks for water on a night out and up my intake of my warm cups of water in a big way over the following days.

Dehydration can affect every single part of our body so if you have a pain pattern or reoccurring issue, the likelihood is that keeping your body really well hydrated will help.

I harp on about this all the time to my clients but it is important to note that when you are drinking water to have it room temperature or warmer, I have written a post on my work Facebook page about this here;

A few indicators that you may need to up your water intake if you find yourself having any of the following;

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth / Cracked lips
  • Tired or sleepy
  • Urine is low volume and more yellowish than normal
  • Headache
  • Dry skin
  • Dizziness

So just a very simple little thought, but one that if kept in mind daily which then becomes a part of your lifestyle can have a big positive impact, cheers to that!

Sarah x
Hope, Health & Healing Acupuncture

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