My back went out on me. What happened? (Part 2 of 2)

Continuing with top reasons our "backs can go out on us"

Obesity. Obesity associated with various health problems. This includes weakness in the connective tissues that hold the vertebrae together. Muscles and ligaments distend outward, from the middle. This weakens the integrity of the spinal structure, especially when bending…and even more so when bending and then rotating (twisting). Not only that, it accelerates the effects of gravity. Gravity compresses the spine and the extra weight can turn a good spine into a bad one and a bad spine into a potentially non-recoverably bad one.

Tip: Lose the extra weight. If you’ve tried unsuccessfully in the past you need to change your approach. Consider what you’re motivated by. In high school I was assigned to visit a laryngectomee support group and write about my experience. Sitting around a bunch of people with a hole in their neck sounding like a robot with their speech device was enough to convince me to not make certain lifestyle choices. There are genetic factors involved a lot of times with excess weight, but anything you can to drop a couple of pounds will be helpful.

Lack of Water. Now we’re getting into factors involving the spinal discs. A healthy disc contains about 90% water. You probably are not getting enough water every day. You need to forget about the “8 glasses of water” idea. It doesn’t take a genius to know that no two glasses are the same size and, if you’re like most people, you forget how many glasses you’re on by the time you get to your fourth one. Glasses don’t work very well for running errands either because they can break and spill easily.

Tip: Your best bet is to get a large container that you fill up once or twice a day. It should be calibrated on the side with the number of ounces or milliliters. This way you can keep track of what you’re taking in. A rule of thumb is to take your weight (in pounds) and divide it by two. Take this number in OUNCES and this is how much water you should be putting down every day.

I know it seems like a lot. The good news is it will help you with your oxygen circulation and you’ll find that you need to use the restroom less often over time. And if you’re overweight, this will HELP you lose weight because dehydration and obesity go together.

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