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Summer Hydration: Tulsa Chiropractor Wants You to Love Water

Wonder why your Tulsa Chiropractor is talking about hydration?

Because it's good for the soft tissues in your spine. The discs between the vertebrae in your spine serve as little shock absorbers. They are flat, gel-filled cushions with a tough exterior that protect your vertebrae from all the bounces and bumps you give them. To keep them healthy, you need to drink water.

The outer portion of the disc is called the annulus fibrosus. It is made of sheets of collagen that are tough and circular in nature, kind of like the donut part of a jelly donut. They have fibers that attach the disc to the vertebrae above and below it.

The inside, the jelly part, is called the nucleus pulposus, and it is made of a loose network of strong fibers that are suspended in a mucus and protein gel. The nucleus carries the majority of the body's weight load and depends on it's water-filled center to provide it's strenth and pliability. At birth, the discs are about 80% water. They must stay hydrated in order to function properly. 

So, if you become dehydrated, your spine is at a high risk for injury. It is also going to perform poorly. Dehydrated spinal discs can lead to degeneration over time, and because there is no blood supply to the discs, they don't repair themselves. 

So, how much water do you need? The general rule is 2 liters per day for women, 3 liters per day for men. But, some people need much more, especially if they work outside or are very active. If you are drinking enough water, you should start to feel a difference in your body. That's when you have consumed enough. Try it for a couple of weeks, and see if you feel a difference. Your spine will thank you. 

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