Water makes up roughly 71% of the Earth’s surface… just a bit more than in the average human body. Our bones alone are 31% water! But keeping a constant internal supply is easy to lose track of— and on long, scorching summer days, it’s critical to remember!
Why does water matter to our musculoskeletal health?
Dr. Alejandro Badia, OrthoNOW’s Chief Medical Officer, says “when you’re participating in sports or exercise you are perspiring and thus releasing water from your body. If you are low on water then you may experience cramps, a reduced ability to heal from cartilage tears, and an increase in the friction in your joints.” He continues, “The effect that lack of water has on our bones can be especially destructive to our vertebrae. The discs in between the vertebrae need a constant and healthy supply of water in order to reduce friction and help the spine move with fluidity.”
While words like “heat” and “water” may not convey a sense of alarm, it’s incredibly important to understand its hazards. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are a number of heat-related illnesses, and even deaths, that affect thousands of people each year. Furthermore, infants and children up to 4 years are at greater risk than the rest. The best way to avoid tragedies is by actively making choices to prevent over-heating and recognizing when you may be at risk.
The orthopedic experts at OrthoNOW recommend looking out for signs that may indicate you’re under-hydrated; feeling dryness in the mouth, muscle cramps, reduced amount of urine, fatigue, and even brain fog are some of those signs. You don’t want to be out on the field and not be able to think clearly. That could lead to a serious injury.
Elaborating on muscle cramps in particular, our experts say that without sufficient water, our muscles tighten, finding it more difficult to loosen due to a lack of hydration.
Below are some hydration tips to follow this summer from our experts at OrthoNOW:
- Try to schedule sports/exercise events in the beginning or end of the day when the heat is not as intense as midday.
- Increase your water intake (standard recommendation is 64oz. per day, but that must be increased during times of physical exertion).
- Don’t wait until you are thirsty! Your body won’t necessarily send you a “thirsty” signal in time.
- Drink water before, during, and after you are engaged in physical activity.
If you happen to be exposed to extreme heat and begin feeling tingling skin, headaches, weakness and fatigue, nausea, dizziness or a change in heart rate, your body may be experiencing overheating. You should get out of the heat immediately and try to enter an air-conditioned room. If you aren’t close to air-conditioning, have someone sponge you with cool water and drink water! Hydrating is essential.
So, don’t let “H2O” become “H2Oh NO”… drink up!
For more information about OrthoNOW’s locations and services, including workers comp and corporate wellness, visit http://www.orthonowcare.com/rehab-new1/or download our award-winning mobile app at http://www.orthonowmobileapp.com/.
OrthoNOW®, the nation’s only orthopedic care franchise, is focused on assessment and treatment of a range of orthopedic and sports injuries, chronic conditions, and preventative protocols – all on a walk-in basis. Specialties include anything related to the foot, ankle, knee, hip, wrist, hand, elbow, shoulder and spine.
Every OrthoNOW is equipped with digital imaging equipment and offers the latest techniques and treatments by a team of orthopedic clinicians and orthopedic specialized ancillary providers including Electro Neuro Muscular Therapy (ENMT) which dramatically alleviates acute and chronic pain and expedites recovery time from surgery.
OrthoNOW’s mobile app features a revolutionary feature called On My Way NOW® which allows patients to notify an OrthoNOW Center that they are in route, the reason they’re coming and what time they expect to arrive. The recently upgraded app v2.0 for iPhone users includes integration with Uber. OrthoNOW’s flagship Center is in Doral, Florida, with franchised Centers in Florida and Georgia. Centers are coming soon to Michigan, Ohio and beyond.
United States Geological Survey (https://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html) and (https://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5932a1.htm)