Allergies, muscle cramps, and joint pain seem to be the common theme coming into the office lately. It’s no surprise to me, all the unexpected moisture, the spread of misquotes, and let’s face it, us Coloradans don’t handle 97 degrees very well! Frankly, most chiropractic patients feel BETTER in higher temperatures. There are many theories as to why this is, from barometric pressure allowing tissues to expand putting pressure on joints, to nerves being more sensitized, but my personal favorite is simple. Our blood flows better in higher temperatures. It’s less viscus, assuming we are well hydrated, and we are more inclined to move about when we can sweat it out. The increased perspiration can lead to a mineral imbalance which presents itself as a muscle spasm or cramping, which rears its ugly head at 4 in the morning and wakes you up in the most unpleasant of ways. We’ve all been there, we finally started working out, or we helped a neighbor move his refrigerator out of the basement, we go to bed that night sleeping like a baby, and BAM! A muscle cramp, AKA “charlie horse” (where did that name come from anyway?) in our calf or glute starts pulling our limb(s) in random directions and we are doing our best not to wake the entire neighborhood screeching in pain.
My very apathetic response to such a complaint from a patient is usually, “drink more WATER!” You know that stuff that comes out of your bathroom faucet while you brush your teeth? There’s all sorts of fancy, overpriced bottles of it lining the shelves at King Soopers, and you can even buy a toxic version laced with artificial sweeteners and colors now! Welcome to America folks, we’ve managed to make water, the most needed compound on the planet, toxic. Once we’ve discussed the importance of the most abundant resource on Earth, I then look into Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, and Vitamin D levels. Naturally, Vitamin D is rarely the issue in the Spring and Summer months, but many-a-white-girl has surprised me. Calcium, is commonly misdiagnosed as a deficiency in more than just those with osteoporosis. Mark my words, RARELY and I mean RARELY is a lack of Calcium a problem in the American diet. Which leaves Magnesium and Potassium. The best form of magnesium is the liquid version and if you truly believe dehydration is not the issue then I recommend adding this wonderful supplement to your morning regimen. If that doesn’t work…bananas are awesome, but spend a little extra and get the organic kind.
In his book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj states that “…feeling flushed and irritable, anxious, dejected, depressed, etc…” are ALL signs of dehydration. He goes on to explain the hundreds of roles water plays in the most basic of functions of the human body, including immunity, muscle contraction, and of course, I must mention the importance in joint lubrication. So is drinking broing ol’ water our only option? The easiest answer is…yes. Sorry, suck it up, grab some mint, lemon, ice, whatever you need and drink up…momma will be so proud.
-See also our “Infused Water Recipes” blog post
-PS ‘Charlie Horse’ is believed to have originated in the late 1890’s during a baseball game.