Spinal Health - Hydration Part 4

A Hydrated Spine, Is a Healthy Spine

spinal, health, holistic, fitness, nutrition, hydration, chatham, nj, new jersey, crossfit, paleo
One of the most underrated factors that leads to optimal spinal health , the health of your spine, is the hydration of the disc of your spine. Most people do not know and most therapist forget that the intervertebral disc of your spine are made up of a nearly 90% aqueous solution (our new term for water if you have been following this series) and 10% collagen/protein. When we forget to properly hydrate our body we also forget to hydrate our spine, and when we dehydrate our spine we lose optimal function of the spine due to a decrease in the intervertebral space. Maintaining this space in between our disc is key to optimal functioning of our nervous system, muscles, organs, glands and maintenance of pain free, mobile, and lean body.
Unfortunately, rehydration of the spine is not at the top of the totem pole when the body attempts to rehydrate itself. Actually, it is about 10th in degree of importance (check out the CHEK Totem Pole above) and with a fairly low level of dehydration can be compromised. To provide further clarity here is a quick example, if the brain, mouth, eyes, or any of the viscera (internal organs) need water the body will partition water to those structures first before considering hydration of the spine. What an amazing machine, huh!
Another very important factor to take into consideration when hydrating for spinal health is that proper hydration is also important for the movement and makeup of Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which if you take a look at the chart below requires much more than just water to work optimally (sound familiar!!). This fluid is the brain's second line of defense, the blood-brain barrier being first, and helps to maintain optimal communication, function, and hydration of the brain. Without water this fluid becomes just like the oil in your car when you have not changed it in a while, gooey and sludgy, which leads to a decrease in the nervous system's ability to fight stress, protect the brain, move hormones and neurotransmitters out of the brain and communicate with the rest of the body. This fluid moves all of the hormones and neurotransmitters that the brain makes to help us feel happy, more awake, alert, and even to become sexually aroused (Could hydration be linked to ED or depression?). 
Reference ranges for ions and metals in CSF
Substance Lower limit Upper limit Unit Corresponds to % of that in plasma
Osmolality 280[12] 300[12] mmol/L
Sodium 135[12] 150[12] mmol/L
Potassium 2.6[12] 3.0[12] mmol/L
Chloride 115[12] 130[12] mmol/L >100%[12]
Calcium 1.00[12] 1.40[12] mmol/L ~50%[12]
Magnesium 1.2[12] 1.5[12] mmol/L >100%[12]
Iron 0.2[12]
If your goal is to have a pain-free body make sure to be properly hydrating yourself throughout the day. I have provided all of the key action items to maintain proper levels of hydration in Part 1 and 2 of this series, they also have other key pieces of the puzzle so take a read! The other key of the puzzle when considering optimal spinal health is making sure your body walking around with a sense of ideal posture, and that is moves on a daily basis. To bring in your body for a quick "oil" change, contact Naief Medina for a Biosignature Assessment where he will be able to assess your degree of dehydration and customize an action plan to get your machine functioning optimally again.


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