Ever wonder why people get shorter as they get older? One of the primary reasons is spinal disc dehydration. There are 24 discs of the spine and with time, gravity and lack of proper motion they become dehydrated and consequently you get shorter.
Analogy: The Sponge
A dried-up and wet sponge are a good analogy of fluid flow and dehydration of discs. A wet sponge has plenty of fluid, has flexibility and fluid readily moves in and out of the sponge. The hydrated disc is also taller than a dry sponge. In contrast the dry sponge has little to no flexibility and fluid cannot flow back and forth easily.
How About A Study?
Motion & Nutrition. Immobilization arthropathies are probably due to nutritional failure. Avascular cartilage, behaving like a water filled sponge, gives off fluid on compression and takes it up on release of pressure. Alternate compression and re-expansion allows a supply of nutrients and removal of metabolic waste. With proper motion, discs will maintain their height and spinal degeneration will be minimized.
Arthritis & Rheumatism, 1984. In simple English proper motion keeps the discs healthy.
If proper motion is not maintained, in time, with gravity, trauma and micro trauma, the discs will dehydrate and lead to bony degeneration. Please revisit: The Bone Spurs Blog, Dec 2012.
What to do?
Chiropractic adjustments: Surprise! Routine care is the best way to maintain proper joint motion and decrease the risk of disc dehydration and spinal degeneration.
Try this: Imbibition for the Discs
Sit up in a chair with good posture. Then hunch over with bad posture. Slowly sway back and forth as if someone is grabbing the middle of your low back spine and shoving it forward and then pulling it back. This swaying is great to prevent back stiffness and helps pump the discs.
If you have more questions about disc health, chiropractic adjustments, talk to Dr. Lance Casazza. From all of us have a very Happy Holiday Season!