Hydrate or Die, part 3

As you may recall from my last two articles in the “Hydrate or Die” series that natural water is the corner stone of a healthy life and that dehydration can have severe and devastating effects to the human body.

From low back and neck pain, angina, headaches, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain, asthma, allergies and diabetes.

And not forgetting that 95% of cancers are caused by poor nutrition, and as nutrition begins with water keeping your body properly hydrated will go a long way to you living a fit, healthy, long disease free life.

Now with water playing such a big part of “life” without it we will simply die, it makes sense that a lack of it can cause us trouble. In Hydrate or Die part two, I spoke about how pain was a signal of localised dehydration.

With this in mind, a lack of water and a state of dehydration can lead to low back pain.

This is because the spinal joints, the intervertebral joints and their disc structures, are reliant on water for theirdifferent“hydraulic” properties of the water stored in the discs core.

Water not only acts as a lubricant for the contact surfaces of the spine but also acts to support the compression weight of the upper body through the water store in the intervertebral discs.

In fact 75% of the upper body’s weight is supported by the water stored in the discs core. The other 25% is supported by the fibrous materials around the disc. Water acts as a lubricating agent as well as is “shock absorber” which bears the force produced by weight on the joint or the tension produced by the muscles acting on the joint.

As adequate hydration is needed to keep the intervertebral discs at their “optimum hight” a lack of water in these discs is going to lead to low back pain as the disc themselves become dehydrated. When this happens the discs wont be able to support the bodies weight as efficiently but not only that, because the bones of the spine are now closer together you are much more likely to suffer from wear and tear to the bones and degenerative bone diseases. Being overweight will make matters worse!

So, before you start popping pills to get rid of your back pain, try increasing your water intake first. If you’re are the 1 litre per 50lb of bodyweight then and still suffering, the next step would be to get a Kinetic Chain Specialist to assess your posture for contributing factors that may be pulling your body out of alignment. The Kinetic Chain Specialist can then design a corrective exercise and nutrition strategy that can help alleviate the problem.

Correcting bad posture will not only help alleviate your back pain but it will also help prevent neck pain. As all Kinetic Chain Specialists know, the body is only as strong as it’s weakest link a weak area in one part of the body will also cause problems elsewhere. So if you are suffering from low back pain, through something known as the “Lovett Brother Relationship” which describes the skeletal reciprocity between paired bones of the cranium, pelvis and spine. This happens because the body is trying to keep a balanced vertical position against gravity. To do this bones at opposite ends of the spine will move in equal and opposite directions to maintain a centre of gravity.

This basically means that if your sacrum is out of alignment then the occiput bone at the base of the scull will be out of alignment.

If L5 is out of kilta then C5 will move in an equal but opposite direction. This is going to lead to pain, with pain comes a down regulation of the muscles through involved through a process called arthrokinetic inhibition. When this happens you will start to develop pain in other joints as you develop faulty movement patterns caused.

Back pain is one of the biggest problems in the Western World and most of it can be eliminated through correct hydration and a corrective exercise, nutrition, and stretching program.

You can also keep your back pain away by paying attention to your posture. Think the typical “Royal Marines” posture: chest out, shoulders pulled back and down. Also setting your workstation up to your individual height will help as well.

So next time your back starts giving you gyp and before you reach for the pain killers make sure you hydration levels are up to where they should be and you may find, all other things being equal your back pain goes away.

Marc Kent

Author: Commando Fitness Blueprint