PainSci summary of Belavy 2016?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
Astronauts get more intervertebral disc herniations when they come down to Earth, probably because the darn things swell up in zero-G. We’re used to thinking about disc herniation as something that happens because of gravity … not because it’s absent! I’m sure most of us probably assume that taking the pressure off is nice for spines (and maybe it is while you’re still floating around).
But apparently discs get a bit poofy and unstable if you don’t keep the pressure on ‘em.
original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
PURPOSE: Recent work showed an increased risk of cervical and lumbar intervertebral disc (IVD) herniations in astronauts. The European Space Agency asked the authors to advise on the underlying pathophysiology of this increased risk, to identify predisposing factors and possible interventions and to suggest research priorities.
METHODS: The authors performed a narrative literature review of the possible mechanisms, and conducted a survey within the team to prioritize research and prevention approaches.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Based on literature review the most likely cause for lumbar IVD herniations was concluded to be swelling of the IVD in the unloaded condition during spaceflight. For the cervical IVDs, the knowledge base is too limited to postulate a likely mechanism or recommend approaches for prevention. Basic research on the impact of (un)loading on the cervical IVD and translational research is needed. The highest priority prevention approach for the lumbar spine was post-flight care avoiding activities involving spinal flexion, followed by passive spinal loading in spaceflight and exercises to reduce IVD hyper-hydration post-flight.
- “Hypertrophy in the cervical muscles and thoracic discs in bed rest?,” Daniel L Belavý, Tanja Miokovic, Gabriele Armbrecht, and Dieter Felsenberg, J Appl Physiol (1985), 2013.
- “Changes in water content of intervertebral discs and paravertebral muscles before and after bed rest,” Yoshihiro Matsumura, Yuichi Kasai, Hideaki Obata, Shigeru Matsushima, Tadashi Inaba, and Atsumasa Uchida, Journal of Orthopaedic Science, 2009.
These two articles on PainScience.com cite Belavy 2016 as a source:
- Save Yourself from Low Back Pain! — Low back pain myths debunked and all your treatment options reviewed
- Morning Back Pain — Why is back pain worst first thing in the morning, and what can you do about it?
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.