Make a stand in the morning!

Many back pain sufferers know that catching 40 winks can be tough for your back.

“But why can rest make me sore?”

Between your vertebrae, there are discs made up of fluid and strong fibres helping to distribute pressures on the spine, for example during sitting, bending or running.

During sleep, the load on our spine is relieved, giving our discs a window in which to heal and hydrate. In the morning a typical spine is 1-2cm longer* (this can be up to 5cm in space!*) as hydration causes them to expand.

These lofty heights are lovely, however more fluid in the disc creates a pressure increase. Bending in the morning produces approximately four times more strain than during the day**, putting you at a greater risk of injury.

Discs have a poor blood supply, so rely upon rehydration and protein replenishment to stay healthy. Of all cartilage in the body, they wear down the fastest*, so ignore them at your peril!

We are largely immobile when asleep, so the facet joints, which are designed to move, can also feel stiff on waking.  (Problems aren’t usually caused, but accentuated by sleep).

Shows the two parts of vertebral discs.

“So what do I do?”

Mornings are quite a delicate time. Your discs need to depressurise without being subjected to heavy strain or big stretches, but, at the same time, your facet joints like to be stretched out.

The best advice is to slowly expose your back to you body’s weight before subjecting yourself to any stressors. Continue reading Make a stand in the morning!

Drinking like a fish?

Should we be drinking like fish?

It’s a simple answer, and you won’t even need to keep checking the back of your underpants!

Feel the natural cycle of your body (and the cosmic energy of the universe BRO!) and just knock it back when you are thirsty.

Put it this way, drinking to the exact ‘recommendations’ of medical sources, 1.6; 2 litres (female; male) [NHS 2013] won’t hold true between Ronnie the pensioner and Terry the bodybuilder.

An exact figure would weigh up; water taken up from food/beverages versus water lost from climate, energy expenditure, diet osmolarity, body mass and individual thermoregulation variants.

But your body does this for you with a thing called THIRST! The problem of dehydration often comes when we don’t pay attention to those signals, especially in hot weather.

So it can be helpful to make sure you drink a certain amount per day, especially if you’re busy, but too much water will simply result in more excretion within the hour.


Coming soon: How to hydrate for your marathon (drinking like a fish part 2)