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Exercise increases disc height

Paul Ingraham ARCHIVEDMicroblog posts are archived and rarely updated. In contrast, most long-form articles on PainScience.com are updated regularly over the years (see updates page).

Intense exercise, gravity … that probably compresses spines, amiright? Squishes those intervertebral discs out? Wear and tear?

Nyope, the opposite. A good workout fluffs them up! “Juicier.” Increased disc height with vigorous activity.

Bowden et al: “Physical activity, particularly vigorous activity, is beneficial in helping maintain intervertebral disc health.”

Is there anything about spine health that’s actually intuitive? I think not. Counter-intuitive is the rule. If your pet theory about what causes or cures back pain “makes sense,” it’s probably wrong!

Reference:

“In vivo correlates between daily physical activity and intervertebral disc health”
Bowden et al. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. Volume 36, Number 5, 1313–1323. May 2018.

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