Is Your Back Pain Caused By Dehydration?

Have you ever experienced back pain at any point in life? If yes, you must know that having a back pain severely disturbs your day-to-day activities. Back pain can be a hassle as it will impact everything you do. Many factors can cause back pain. But, did you know that back pain is also triggered due to dehydration? If not, you’ve reached the right place.

Dehydration has been commonly linked with back pain. This linkage has to do with how the lumbar discs need a consistent amount of water to function effectively. You can get an in-depth understanding of how dehydration affects your spine in the article as follows.

Let’s begin.

How Does Dehydration Cause Back Pain?

Your spinal column is the most vital part of your body and is responsible for many functions. In terms of movement, it affects your flexibility as well as fall protection. A lack of water can have severe consequences on this part of your body. To understand why this happens, we need to know how our spinal cord functions. Below is a detailed explanation of how various parts of our spine need water to function.

Spinal Protection

Our spinal column consists of many discs, vertebrae, and cartilage. Cartilage encases our spinal cord and is nearly 80% water. These discs are responsible for protecting our spinal cord from any damage by cushioning all the harmful shock. Furthermore, they prevent the vertebrae from grinding together. They also promote flexibility. In order to perform these activities, the discs require a high amount of water on a regular basis.

Loss of Water with Movement

Physical activities like walking, running, jumping can affect the fluids present in your lumbar discs. They have to work extra hard on the repair and might lose more fluids in the process. Similarly, high levels of stress can limit the regeneration process. This ultimately reduces the cushioning ability of these discs by causing shrinkage.

Disc Rehydration

Typically, the lumbar discs rehydrate at night. During this time, the old fluids are replaced with water that you have consumed during the day. This helps the tissues surrounding your spinal cord to be reenergized and helps them function smoothly. This is why proper sleep and hydration go hand in hand. Since the body prioritizes your organs, lack of water is likely to affect these secondary parts.

How to know if Your Lumbar Discs are Dehydrated?

Now that the importance of hydration for our spine is clear, it is time to ask yourself, “Am I drinking enough water?” It is normal to wonder whether or not you are receiving adequate hydration for your lumbar discs. However, the amount of water your spine needs depends largely on your body type and age. But there are signs in place that can let you know if your lumbar discs are dehydrated.

They are detailed as follows:

Back Pain

Back pain is a common problem, especially for older people. Dehydration can cause your lumbar discs to thin. This causes your vertebrae to take the brunt of the wear and tear. With time, this will start to add up and affect the nerves in your lower spine. This most commonly takes the form of lower back pain.


As a direct consequence of the thinning discs, you may see reduced mobility. This reduced mobility is because as the spinal discs get thinner, the nucleus pulposis tends to harden. This hampers regular movement by affecting body flexibility. If dehydration has started to limit your movement severely, then you might need to undergo surgery to relieve yourself.

Herniated Discs

Herniated discs refer to lumbar discs that have been pushed into the spinal canal due to tear or rupture. They are also called bulged, slipped, or ruptured discs. Herniated discs are a common sign of early degeneration. It is excruciating as the bulging discs can cause the surrounding vertebrae to grind against each other upon the simplest movements.

Herniated discs are caused by a lack of water in the outer layers. Not only this, but a lack of proper hydration for regeneration can also worsen this condition. This results in a lack of required elasticity in your discs and prevents them from withstanding impact.

Common Signs of Lumbar Discs Dehydration

While the main effects of dehydration on your lumbar discs have been discussed above, there can be other minor signs as well. These can act as warning signs that you might need to consult a medical professional. It is a good idea to reevaluate your hydrating practices if any of these signs apply to you for your long term spine health.

  • Weakness in your legs
  • Shooting pain in your legs
  • Tingling or numbness in your legs
  • Bulges in your spinal region
  • Any problems in your pelvic region
  • Lack of proper reflexes in your legs

10 Common Symptoms of Dehydration

You may have heard the phrase, “Prevention is better than cure.” The above signs are an excellent way to know whether your lumbar discs are dehydrated. However, the following signs can let you know if you are dehydrated before it affects your spine. If any of these ten symptoms seem familiar, then you might want to increase your daily water intake.

  1. Fatigue
  2. Bad Breath
  3. Dark Urine
  4. Dizziness
  5. Muscle Cramps
  6. Dry Skin
  7. Headaches
  8. Dry eyes
  9. Sunken Eyes
  10. Low Blood Pressure

Tips to Stay Hydrated

It’s all well and good to hear phrases touting hydration, but how can we actually achieve this? We understand that merely advising people to drink water may not be effective enough. This is why we have outlined a list of tips to maintain your water intake.

  • Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet
  • Add a dash of lemon or mint to your water for a bit of taste
  • Consume adequate electrolytes in addition to your water
  • Limit the use of diuretics like caffeinated drinks
  • Limit alcohol usage to prevent rapid dehydration
  • Remember to increase your water intake during exercise and sickness
  • Keep a water bottle handy and drink water consistently throughout the day


A lack of water can have many negative consequences on our bodies. It can affect your lumbar discs and reduce your flexibility. In worse cases, it can lead to herniated discs or cause limitation of movement. It is best to stay away from these problems by ensuring proper hydration throughout the day.