Is Your Back Pain Caused By Dehydration?


Perhaps one of the most common health tips is to drink more water. Water makes up more than 50% of the human body, and when it isn’t properly hydrated, the effects of dehydration can include dizziness, headaches, and fainting. Even back pain can be caused by dehydration!

When you’re dehydrated, water is taken from the spinal discs that are located between every other vertebra, causing your back to ache. When these discs aren’t properly hydrated, the spine ends up taking on the full shock of the body’s movements, which results in pain. Here’s what you need to know:


What links dehydration and back pain? The small, jelly-like discs in your spine, which are nearly 75% water. The outer ring, also known as the nucleus pulposus, and the inner ring are mostly water. Throughout the day, water is slowly released from the spinal discs. In fact, by the end of the day, you could be up to a half an inch shorter than when you woke up in the morning. Your discs rehydrate while you sleep so you return to your full height in the morning. Your discs work hard to stay hydrated during the day, but that is challenging in an upright position. To help your discs stay hydrated, be sure to stay hydrated and move frequently throughout the day.

If the discs of your spine aren’t properly hydrated, they can’t support and protect your spine as they should. The jelly-like discs that are located between every few vertebrae protect your spine from wear and tear and absorb the shock of everyday movements. If they are unable to properly function, more stress will be put on the spine which causes swelling, pain, and can even lead to bulging discs.


Here are 10 signs to that indicate dehydration:

  1. Bad Breath

  2. Dry Skin

  3. Dark Urine

  4. Fatigue

  5. Muscle Cramps

  6. Blurry Vision/Dry Eyes

  7. Anger

  8. Headaches

  9. Fever

  10. Dizziness

You know it is incredibly important to stay hydrated, but it can be easy to lose sight of that. Make a daily goal to consume 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce of water per pound that you weigh. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, try to consume 90 ounces of water per day. Keep in mind that your health, and the health of your spine, depends on hydration.


  • When working out consume electrolytes in addition to water

  • Download an app on your phone to track the amount of water you’re drinking

  • Find water boring? Add flavoring like fresh mint or lemon juice to make it more appealing. Get creative with your mix-ins!

  • Add fresh raw fruits and vegetables to your diet

  • Pay attention to your urine

  • Purchase a reusable water bottle with a design you like or one that tracks the ounces you drink

  • Set a timer to keep track of you water intake

Do you have more tips to stay hydrated? Let us know in the comments! Maintaining the health of your spine with chiropractic care and staying hydrated will have you on the path to being truly healthy!