Did you know you start your day taller than you end it? It’s true. Removing the constant stressor of gravity’s downward pressure allows the cartilage in our spine and knees to decompress and stretch. The end result being a whopping gain of 1 cm in height after complete rest, but don’t call any NBA recruiters yet. Once you get out of bed, your spine compresses again and your height boost is lost.
This is a phenomenon most clearly observed in astronauts returning from long space missions. Astronaut Scott Kelly returned from a year-long space mission the other day having gained 2 inches to his overall height! When the body reacts to conditions in zero gravity, the spine decompresses and lengthens significantly. However, this increase is no more permanent than your daily recompression, and astronauts return to their original height within the first few months back on Terra Firma.
While spinal decompression has been shown to relieve back pain, the unfortunate reality is that not all of us can afford to take a one year jaunt into space to fix our “computer backs”.
Just as astronauts have to train their bodies to deal with the stressors of space travel, we have to train our bodies to deal with the stressors of day to day life. The constant weight of gravity on your spine, poor posture, trauma… these add up. If we don’t prepare and respond to our daily pressure, we can find ourselves in real pain. Your Chiropractor can help you keep your body prepared and healthy by adjusting your spine, assigning daily exercise, and educating you on proper posture. Never forget, your Chiropractor is more than the “guy who cracks your back”, we are the experts on fixing pain, but more importantly AVOIDING the pain in the first place. And trust me, we are always ready to educate our patients.