Thursday, November 19, 2015

Spine Shrinkage and Back Pain

Does work stress make you shorter? On average, normal spinal shrinkage causes people to lose about 14 millimeters, or 1% of their stature over the course of a day.  This is due to fluid loss from the intervertebral disk. With adequate sleep, they tend to recover their height. Researcher Ivana Igic and two colleagues from the University of Bern in Switzerland, performed an ambulatory field study of daily work stressors, job control, and spinal shrinkage among Swiss office workers to assess daily spine shrinkage, a phenomenon linked to lower-back pain. They wanted to investigate whether spinal shrinkage was greater during workdays compared with nonwork days, if daily work stressors were positively related to spinal shrinkage, and whether or not job control was negatively related to spinal shrinkage. The study involved 2 consecutive weeks with 512 days of observation of 39 office employees. Results tomorrow. 

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