One of the most frequently asked questions I get here at Stones River Chiropractic is, “Why am I shrinking?” Or, “Why has my grandfather or grandmother shrunk,” and, “Why are they shorter than they used to be?”
Well there are two common reasons for that: the structure of the discs in between the vertebrae have started to degenerate or it’s poor posture.
So let’s talk about the posture first. In general, as the spine starts to slouch forward you will find decreased height. If someone is rounding in the back or slouching more you’ll see the curvature in the spine and their height will drop. The other reason is that the actual discs themselves might be decreasing. As discs dehydrate or degenerate we can get lessening of the disc height, which decreases spaces in between. For example:if you originally had four or five inches of disc height through 24 movable vertebrae then you would see a significant decrease in stature. Combining the decrease in space between the discs and poor posture leads to shrinking in your spine and height.
Some other reasons for shrinkage might be that your feet have flattened out or you have experienced a loss of cartilage in between your knees or hips. Worst case scenario might consist of bone diseases (osteoporosis, osteopenia) in which the bones are actually lessening in height and collapsing in. But the most common reasons are posture and disc height decrease.
So, what can you do about it? Exercise is key in helping your muscles stay strong and able to hold your spine up. If your vertebrae get fixated and stuck that’s where we come in. Chiropractors help alleviate the mobility of the spine to help it function better. Once the spine is functioning better the nervous system will respond with an increase in function as well!