Dehydration affects the body physically and mentally but also affects the health of the spine’s discs. Spinal discs that lack proper hydration begin to compress, collapse between vertebrae, or cannot refill correctly, causing further compression and increasing the risk of spinal injury. Dehydrated discs can cause injuries like herniated disc/s, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis. Chiropractic treatment offers spinal decompression that will restretch and realign the spine allowing the injury/s to heal and proper disc rehydration.
Table of Contents
As crucial as the spine is within daily activities, it is vital to understand its mechanics. The spinal vertebrae discs work to absorb shock when bending, twisting, or flexing to ensure the bones do not rub together. Within each disc is the nucleus pulposus, made up of 85 percent water that provides movement when the spine rotates and moves in various directions. This high water content in the discs helps the spine function. The discs naturally lose some water as the body ages, but dehydration can also occur when individuals do not intake enough water from drinking or in food. If the dehydration is severe, the risk of injury increases or can aggravate existing spine conditions. The loss of hydration in an adult spine can cause a loss of disc height daily. Without proper rehydration, other medical issues can begin to present.
Depending on which discs are affected, the pain or numbness can travel from the neck into the shoulders, arms, and hands or from the lower back down through the legs. Symptoms can include:
- Back stiffness
- Burning or tingling sensations
- Reduced or painful movement
- Back pain
- Numbness in the low back, legs, or feet
- Changes in knee and foot reflexes
When the body is dehydrated, it can be difficult to replenish the water in the discs thoroughly, as well as nutrient levels through a consistent loss of fluid. Dehydration disrupts the balance which can lead to an increased risk of injury and increased degeneration. Causes of disc dehydration include:
- Trauma from an auto accident, fall, work, or sports injury.
- Repeated strain on the back from consistent lifting, reaching, bending, twisting, etc.
- Sudden weight loss can cause the body, including the discs, to lose fluid.
- Ankylosing spondylitis.
The entire body relies on proper hydration with direct water consumption to rehydrate the body but also incorporating fruits and vegetables to aid in hydration. These foods include:
These foods are made of more than 90% water and contain essential nutrients and help the spine function more efficiently. Proper water consumption is based on age, body size, and activity level. However, to fully heal desiccated discs, spinal injuries, or back pain, chiropractic decompression, and manipulation adjustments are recommended. Non-surgical motorized spinal decompression treatment is gentle. The therapy lengthens and decompresses the spine reversing the pressure within the damaged disc/s creating an intradiscal vacuum that relieves the pressure off the nerve and helps reshape and rehydrate the damaged disc/s.
Djurasovic, Mladen, et al. “The influence of preoperative MRI findings on lumbar fusion clinical outcomes.” The European spine journal: official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society vol. 21,8 (2012): 1616-23. doi:10.1007/s00586-012-2244-9
Karki, D B et al. “Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in Lumbar Disc Degeneration in Symptomatic Patients.” Journal of Nepal Health Research Council vol. 13,30 (2015): 154-9.
Twomey, L T, and J R Taylor. “Age changes in lumbar vertebrae and intervertebral discs.” Clinical Orthopedics and related research,224 (1987): 97-104.
Videman, Tapio et al. “Age- and pathology-specific measures of disc degeneration.” Spine vol. 33,25 (2008): 2781-8. doi:10.1097/BRS.0b013e31817e1d11
Post Disclaimer *
The information herein on "Spinal Disc Dehydration - Rehydration and Decompression" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card