As many of you may know, water plays a crucial role in your bodies. You yourselves are around 56-60% water. You can’t live without it. You know that not having enough water can result in tiredness, headaches, and even dry skin. But, what some of you might not know, is that your level of hydration has an effect on your discs as well. Read on to find out how.
The Structure of our Discs
Discs are your body’s natural shock absorbers. They connect the vertebrae together and act like joints. Discs are comprised of two main parts:
1) the outer layer: made up of many gelatinous and tough rings
2) the inside (nucleolus): a jelly like substance that is about 80% water
Water and Your Discs
Water plays a big role in the function of your discs. It is responsible for lubrication, delivery of nutrients, and eliminating waste. It also helps maintain the height of discs. Dehydrated discs will shrink in size and can cause pinched nerves.
One of the ways water is absorbed in the spine is through something called imbibition
. This happens when your vertebrae move and create a sort of pumping motion. Think of a sponge that takes water in and out when you push down on it. Because of this, it is important for your spine to be moving and not sedentary throughout the day.
During your sessions at our center you exercise and help improve the imbibition
in your spine. In the case of herniated or bulging discs, this movement helps to move the necessary nutrients to your discs in order for them to heal. If you stay sedentary, the flow of nutrients slows down and discs heal much slower.
Another way to rehydrate your discs is through sleep
. Discs lose some of their water throughout the day, and sleeping helps get some of it back. Provided, you stay hydrated throughout the day. You generally need about 7.5-9 hours of sleep per day.
Now how much do you need? Doctors recommend eight 8-oz glasses per day, which is about a half gallon. Not only will it help regenerate discs, but it will also help to flush out many toxins from your body.
I hope that this post has been helpful for you and may be an encouragment to stay hydrated throughout the day. Small things that may seem not too important, like drinking enough water, can have a big impact on your spinal health.