I see significant numbers of people who have aches and pains and they try to find patterns with whether their symptoms are affected by the heat, the cold, the damp and more.

What I am going to say is that a very significant factor for many is lack of fluid intake. This can happen at any time of the year. Maybe you are a builder on site all day, a school child not wanting to go to the WC because the bullies are in there, a salesman on the road all day or a decorator who does not want to ask the homeowner if they can use the loo. I have seen solicitors, traders and other office workers who are chained to their desks working against deadlines and they have simply ‘not had time to get up and make a drink’.

This is the world we live in today and it sees millions of people go to chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists, massage therapists, Bowen practitioners and other bodyworkers. They spend £££££££s and they just keep going back time after time after time, accepting it seems that this is what they have to do.

Some need to, many do not!

If you are aching my advice would be first give some thought to whether you have drunk sufficient liquid today. As you count through the number of cups or glasses or bottles try to work out what volume you typically drink. Think too about the amount of vegetables, salad or fruit that you are consuming as they too contribute to your overall hydration.

Then think is it a hot day today, was it yesterday? Did I sweat a lot at the gym, out on the playing field, digging that hole, rowing that boat, climbing to the top of that mountain so I could enjoy the view from the top? Was it hot but very windy so I might not have noticed that I was sweating because it was evaporating quickly in the breeze? Am I getting too hot at night in bed – without being too graphic you can lose a lot of body hydration by being too warm whilst sleeping.

How many times have I been to the WC today? What colour was it in the pan. Yes, we have to get down to real basics with this line of thinking! There are dehydration colour charts on the web and I have seen them on the back of toilet doors in fire stations so that the fireman can keep an eye on their own health. Do not rely on getting a headache or a dry mouth to tell you that you are dehydrated – if you are perpetually not drinking enough then your body will not be giving you the triggers it needs to remind you to drink. By the time you are getting many of the symptoms you are already dehydrated.

Think whether you have taken in today anything which might make your body respond by trying to flush out using more of your retained fluid? Alcohol and high sugar intake would be the top contenders I would have thought e.g. sugary drinks or indeed low-calorie drinks as your body will usually not like the sweeteners and want them out as quickly as possible.

Your body needs a fine balance of sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium to help it function correctly and to enable, for instance, liquids to cross the different cell membranes to get into your muscles and other soft tissues and back into your blood stream as just one example. It requires that the levels of each element are adequate in correct ratios. Without this you can experience side which include but are not limited to headaches, aching muscles, cramps, thirst, raised blood pressure and more:

Many food stuffs contain high levels of these and Epsom salt baths are a good way to take up magnesium as well as ease aching muscles. There is magnesium oil spray to try on muscles cramps and bananas are just one source of potassium.

If in doubt take medical advice from your pharmacist, GP or other medical practitioner.