I’ve been dealing recently with a LOT of lower back pain. I have been working 40 hours a week on my feet, and for the past 6 weeks I wake up every morning and can barely get out of bed.
I try to self-diagnose. I wear running shoes for a week. I wear flip flops for a week. I thought maybe it was the running I’ve been doing. My hip has been a little stuck but maybe that’s creating more trouble than I first thought. I take a posture clinic – which I had previously thought I was doing pretty well, considering I had trained professionally for 6 years to become a dancer. (Apparently my training was purely for aesthetics.) Maybe I wasn’t doing enough yoga. So I commit to doing at least two classes a week, more often than not, three.
Maybe it’s the bed I’m sleeping in. Pillow between the knees. Sleep on my back (yeah, right). Extra pillows. No pillows. The couch. Still waking up every morning feeling like grandpa’s knee when a storm’s a-comin. I eat less white flour. I eat less white sugar. I drink less beer (and more wine), and then less wine (and more beer). I double up on my NuPlus. I get the boyfriend to pull my leg to try to release the pressure.
So I finally crack and go for a massage. Apparently my fascia were cracking like rice crispies – I’m told I’m dehydrated! I thought about it…since I started working my job last April, I have not been drinking water for 8 hours a day during my shift, despite lululemon’s “Drink Fresh Water” manifesto quote and filtered water instore. I thought I could make up for it by drinking a couple of big glasses of water when I got home. I suppose I should have noticed the typical signs a couple of months ago, but I don’t think I thoroughly understood the overall impact that dehydration has on the body systems.
So I’m going to drink water. Running is a whole new world for me, of course I have to adjust water intake. I have to be reminded once every few years I suppose…and now, five days after my “diagnosis”, all this pain I’ve been feeling – rolling out of bed in the morning, clutching at the sink while I brush my teeth, nearly crumbling to the floor after two hours on my feet – has quite apparently been relieved simply by increasing intake of something free, cool, and easy. Can it really be that easy?
- Divide your body weight in half – that’s about how many ounces to aim for per day.
- Water intake depends on physical activity and dietary choices. Saltier foods, fewer vegetables, and dry windier conditions make it necessary to increase water intake.
- Room temperature water is best. Cold water may feel good, but it’s hard on the stomach, and drains energy from the body to warm it up.
- Limit intake of water half an hour before meals, and for an hour after meals so as not to dilute the digestive juices.
I have also heard that the two areas in the brain that control feelings of hunger and thirst are both so close together that thirst can be disguised as hunger. If you are craving a snack, you may in fact be thirsty. Next time, throw back a big old glass of water and see if you still crave whatever it is in 5 minutes.