Chiropractic Tips

Don't Let the Heat of Summer Catch You Without Water!

Posted: June 20, 2023
By: Dr. Jan Ormsby

As the scorching days of summer approach, it's crucial to prioritize staying hydrated to protect our health and well-being. Water is essential for various bodily functions, including regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, and maintaining organ function. It is especially important to stay hydrated when engaging in outdoor activities or spending prolonged periods in the sun. Adequate hydration is also essential for optimal chiropractic care and ensuring the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments.

Chiropractic adjustments focus on aligning the spine and improving the function of the nervous system. This holistic approach to health care recognizes that the body functions as an interconnected system, with the spine acting as a central hub. However, when the body is dehydrated, it can negatively impact the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments. Water acts as a lubricant for joints and soft tissues, allowing for smoother movements and facilitating adjustments. Dehydration can lead to stiff joints and tight muscles, making it more challenging for chiropractors to manipulate the spine effectively.

Furthermore, promoting health from the inside out is a fundamental principle of chiropractic care. The body's overall well-being depends on various factors, including nutrition, exercise, and hydration. Proper hydration supports the body's natural healing processes, aids in the elimination of toxins, and ensures that vital nutrients are effectively transported to different cells and organs. When the body is dehydrated, it can hinder these processes and compromise the body's ability to heal and function optimally.

What Causes Dehydration?

You may be familiar with the common recommendation to consume eight glasses of water per day. It's a simple guideline to remember and a reasonable objective. Maintaining hydration for most healthy individuals can typically be achieved by drinking water and other fluids in response to thirst. While some people may find that consuming fewer than eight glasses of fluid daily is sufficient, others may require more.

It's important to note that your overall fluid intake may need to be adjusted based on various factors including heat, wind, altitude, and other conditions. Here's a breakdown of how each of these factors can contribute to dehydration:

Heat: High temperatures and excessive sweating can lead to dehydration. When you sweat, your body loses water and electrolytes, which need to be replenished to maintain proper hydration.

Wind: Wind can accelerate the evaporation of moisture from your skin, which can increase the rate of fluid loss and potentially lead to dehydration. Windy conditions can also make you less aware of your body's water needs, as you may not feel as hot or thirsty.

Altitude: At higher altitudes, the air is generally drier, and the lower oxygen levels can cause increased respiration and more rapid breathing. This increased respiratory rate can lead to greater water loss through exhaled air and may contribute to dehydration if adequate fluid intake is not maintained.

Exercise: Physical activity and exercise increase your body's temperature, leading to increased sweating and fluid loss. Engaging in intense or prolonged exercise without proper hydration can quickly deplete your body's water and electrolyte stores.

Illness: Certain illnesses such as fever, diarrhea, and vomiting can cause fluid loss and contribute to dehydration. These conditions increase the body's need for fluids to replenish the lost fluids and prevent dehydration.

Medications: Some medications, such as diuretics, can increase urine output and lead to increased fluid loss. This can potentially result in dehydration if fluid intake is not adjusted accordingly.

It's important to stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of fluids, especially during hot weather, windy conditions, high altitudes, exercise, illness, or when taking certain medications. Listening to your body's thirst cues and consuming fluids regularly can help prevent dehydration and maintain proper hydration levels.

Blood Pressure

One important aspect of health affected by dehydration is blood pressure. The body relies on an adequate fluid balance to maintain stable blood pressure levels. When dehydrated, blood volume decreases, causing blood vessels to constrict in an attempt to compensate. This constriction can lead to an increase in blood pressure, potentially placing additional stress on the cardiovascular system. By staying hydrated, individuals can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels, reducing the risk of related health complications.

From Dehydrated to Hydrated

Chiropractic care can provide several benefits when transitioning from a dehydrated state to a hydrated one. Here are a few ways chiropractic adjustments can help in such a scenario:

Spinal Alignment: When the body is dehydrated, it can lead to stiffness and tension in the muscles, including those surrounding the spine. Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper spinal alignment by gently manipulating the vertebrae. This realignment can relieve tension and pressure on nerves, muscles, and other soft tissues. When the body is hydrated, the muscles become more pliable, allowing the chiropractor to perform adjustments more effectively.

Enhanced Mobility: Dehydration can cause joint stiffness and limited range of motion. Chiropractic adjustments can improve joint mobility by reducing restrictions and restoring proper joint function. When the body is hydrated, the joints become more lubricated, allowing for smoother movements. Chiropractic care can address specific areas of restriction and facilitate better overall mobility.

Pain Relief: Dehydration can contribute to muscle cramps, headaches, and general discomfort. Chiropractic adjustments help alleviate pain by addressing the underlying causes. When the body is properly hydrated, muscle spasms and cramps may be reduced, leading to decreased pain levels. Additionally, chiropractic care can help reduce tension and strain in the muscles, relieving headaches and promoting overall comfort.

Improved Nervous System Function: Dehydration can impact the function of the nervous system, affecting communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Chiropractic adjustments focus on optimizing nervous system function by removing interference along the spine. When the body is hydrated, nerve conduction may improve, allowing for more efficient communication between the brain and the body's systems.

Overall Well-being: Chiropractic care emphasizes holistic health and well-being. By restoring proper spinal alignment and optimizing nervous system function, chiropractic adjustments contribute to the body's overall balance and vitality. When the body is hydrated, it operates more efficiently, supporting optimal healing and promoting overall wellness.

It's important to note that while chiropractic care can be beneficial in various scenarios, staying hydrated should be a priority for maintaining overall health and well-being. Hydration supports the body's natural healing processes and ensures proper bodily functions. Chiropractic care can complement a healthy lifestyle, including proper hydration, by promoting spinal health and nervous system function.

The Dry Heat of Arizona

Dry heat can be dehydrating. In dry climates or during dry heat conditions, the lack of humidity in the air can increase the rate of moisture evaporation from your body. When you sweat in dry heat, the sweat evaporates quickly from your skin, and you may not feel as sweaty or perceive the need to rehydrate compared to humid conditions.

However, even though you may not feel as sweaty, your body still loses water through evaporation, leading to dehydration. It's important to note that even in dry heat, your body needs to maintain proper fluid balance for optimal functioning.

To prevent dehydration in dry heat, it's essential to drink an adequate amount of fluids regularly, even if you don't feel as thirsty. It's best to rely on your body's thirst signals as well as the color of your urine (clear or light yellow being a good indicator of proper hydration) to monitor your fluid intake. Additionally, try to avoid excessive exposure to direct sunlight during the hottest times of the day and take breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas to minimize the risk of dehydration.

In conclusion, don't let the heat of summer catch you without water. Hydration plays a vital role in supporting overall health and well-being, especially when it comes to chiropractic care. By staying properly hydrated, you can optimize the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments, promote healing from the inside out, and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. So, make sure to drink an adequate amount of water each day, particularly during the summer months, to keep your body functioning at its best and to enjoy the season to the fullest.

Back to blog index