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Submitted by Dr. Jennifer Penrose for Penrose & Associates Physical Therapy

Qquick question: how much water did you drink today? For most people the answer is not enough. From everything we drink and swim in to ice cream that reduces swelling, water is all around us (and even inside us). In fact, we basically are! Water makes up about two-thirds of us and affects every single process in our body, so we tend to feel much more comfortable when we drink enough of it.

Photo Courtesy: Penrose & Associates Physiotherapy

Well how many tips and tricks have you seen how to avoid a bad back or how to relieve pain, I suppose quite a few right? But have you ever seen how drinking more water can help? If I had to guess, you probably haven’t! Dehydration can be one of the many culprits of back pain and one of the reasons why it lasts longer than necessary.

You know that water affects every organ and cell in your body, but it also plays a huge role in the health of your back and spine. Between each section of the spine (the vertebrae) lies an intervertebral disc – these consist mostly of water. During the day while standing, they slowly become dehydrated. Then, at night, when they lie down, they rehydrate themselves (as long as there is enough water in the body!). However, if you’re already dehydrated, the discs can eventually cause pain, swelling, and even cause problems in the future. Just like a car engine needs lubrication, your body needs water for your joints, organs and muscles to function. See why your water intake is so important now?

So let’s take a look at a few things that will help you live a life with less back pain:

  1. Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough Water – So You Can Start Drinking More!
  2. What to expect when you start drinking more water
  3. Helpful tips to help you increase your intake.

Signs that you are not drinking enough water

How do you know? Well, the most obvious is thirst, but here are some not-so-obvious signs:

  • feeling tired
  • dizziness
  • Dry skin and lips
  • headache
  • constipation
  • mood swings
  • joint pain

The list goes on! But one of the best and most reliable signs is to check your urine – if it’s dark and not light yellow, you’re bringing more water into your system!

What to expect when you start drinking more water

You already know that water is good for you, but what benefits can you expect after drinking more of it for a few weeks? For one, you may notice less pain in your back. You’ll also feel healthier, your eyes may not feel as tired, and you’ll feel more alert! In addition, water can help you lose weight, your skin will look clearer and you will have a natural glow! In fact, you’ll probably find that you don’t have to reach for coffee four times a day just because you feel more alert.

Aside from using a larger glass to tip your water down, here are some other tips that might work better for you. I start with my favorite and drink a glass of water right after waking up. To make this easier, I make sure I put a glass of water on my bedside table before I go to bed.

Photo Courtesy: Penrose & Associates Physiotherapy

It’s a great feeling to know that I’ve already used up almost 15% of my daily water intake before my day even started. Try it! After a week or two, it will be a new habit that will make you feel more energetic. Another way you can increase how much you drink is by changing it. I get it, water isn’t exciting, but it doesn’t have to be. Alternate between still and sparkling water. You can even add lemon, cucumber or other fruits to add some flavor!

I really hope that you have received some helpful tips and are starting to implement them in your everyday life. That’s all I have for you this week, so have a great week and drink some water!

The author, Jennifer Penrose, is a physical therapist and the owner of Penrose Physical Therapy in Lacey.

If you need free back pain tips, please download our free tips report here on the Penrose Physical Therapy website.

For more back pain tips and how we’ve helped others, please listen to the Stay Healthy South Sound Podcast and episode entitled Back Pain, All Things Discs, Stenosis, Sciatica and My Own Low Back Surgery”.

If you have any questions about back pain, you can call 360.456.1444 or email [email protected] Or visit the Penrose & Associates Physical Therapy website to learn more about us.

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