If you think alcohol is a pain reliever, think again! According to our Fareham chiropractor, having a bevvy or two can contribute to chronic back pain. As with most alcohol related health issues, the more frequently you drink, the more likely you may be to develop back pain. However, according to our chiropractor, for some people, it may only take a single glass of wine for symptoms to flare up.
So let’s look at the physiological links between alcohol and back pain…
Alcohol can act as a muscle relaxant in some people, but it can also cause muscle spasms, which of course, can lead to back pain. Alcohol can also cause dehydration of the kidneys and constipation which are also big contributors to lower back pain.
No matter what you drink, keep in mind that all alcoholic beverages cause dehydration. If you drink heavily, your muscles could be at risk of becoming dehydrated and weak. Think about your kidneys too; they need to filter a lot of water to break down the alcohol. If there isn’t enough water readily available, your kidneys will take it from your muscles.
It’s important to seek medical attention if you suffer from alcohol related back pain. If there’s an underlying cause to your symptoms (such as a UTI or kidney infection or swelling of the stomach lining) drinking alcohol could make things worse
It’s also important to be aware that alcohol-related back pain can sometimes be indicative of a more serious condition such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Although this is rare, you should always discuss your symptoms with a healthcare professional.
Cutting down on your alcohol intake can have major benefits to your health. Here are some easy ways to take control of you drinking and regain power over your wellbeing:
- Keep track of how much and how often you drink. Instead of relying on your memory (which can be a little sketchy after a few too many!) make a note of how much and how often you drink alcohol. Seeing your drinking habits in “black and white” may surprise you!
- Change your reasons for drinking. You can gain control over the amount you drink by setting some goals. This could mean not drinking when you are alone or not consuming just another glass when you’re stressed. You should also schedule at least two alcohol-free days every week.
- Don’t drink if you haven’t eaten. When you do drink, make sure you fill up with a good meal beforehand as this will slow down the absorption of alcohol in your stomach.
- Drink water in between drinks. Adding soft drinks or water to your drinking menu will lower the risk of you gulping down the alcohol. Try to get into the habit of putting your glass down after every mouthful too.
- Buy low-alcohol alternatives. Most shops are stocked with alcoholic alternatives such as light beer or low alcohol wine. These options are perfect for when you fancy the taste without the hangover!
- Opt out of ‘rounds’. Drink at your own pace, not anyone else’s. If you can’t get out of buying a round, order yourself a non-alcoholic drink.
- Avoid salty snacks, such as crisps or peanuts. Salty foods make you thirsty and more inclined to drink fast. Why do you think so many bars and clubs hand out free bowls of salty snacks?
- Do something else. The busier you are and the more fun you’re having, the less likely you are to drink out of boredom. Fill your life with things that bring you enjoyment without alcohol.
If you suffering back pain our experienced team of chiropractors at Homewood Chiropractic Clinic in Fareham are here to help you. You can call us on 01329 280 283 to make an appointment.