Why Do We Shrink As We Age?
Apr 8, 2019

Why Do We Shrink As We Age? | AICA AtlantaAs a child, our fathers felt as if they stood as tall as a tree and wished one day you could be as tall. As you grew older you would get closer and closer to finally seeing eye to eye with our father and then finally that day came where you finally could stand side by side and turn to look him in the eye. As you reach adulthood you stop growing so how is it that Dad who was once a tree to you becomes shorter than you as he grows older?

It’s all in the Bones

Our height is ultimately determined by our bones. Our legs, arms, skull and other bones continue to grow into adulthood and depending on the size of your bones will determine whether or not you become a professional basketball player or a horse jockey.

Our spine however is composed of vertebrae which are stacked on top of one another and filled with cartilage. Cartilage is a firm and smooth tissue that creates a barrier to protect from friction and the muscles and fibers in the spine also aid your body in standing straight.

When you buy a new pair of sneakers you can run, jump and even move faster because the support in the shoes give you a strong base and cushion. However, as time goes on those sneakers begin to experience wear and tear and even creating an uneven posture because the soles may have worn differently. This is the same for the spine. As time goes on and more wear is put on the spine causing the vertebrae to compress and get smaller which in turn decreases your stature.

Osteoporosis is a condition where the density of the bones decrease leaving the bones fragile. The bones become almost sponge like and become compressible. As the bones loses density they are prone to injury like fractures. Your height will also decrease as the compressed layer of vertebrae continue to deteriorate.

How To Avoid Damage and Understanding Risk Factors

Osteoporosis can occur in anyone but those who are most susceptible are those individuals who are Asian, Caucasian and females. If your body is a small build or even those who have unhealthy diets and smoke are also at a higher risk. Other risk factors for developing this condition is if you already have rheumatoid arthritis.

Exercise is always something that should be implemented into a routine but for those who want to avoid or lessen their risk of developing osteoporosis, this is a must. Weight bearing or impact exercises can lessen the chance of developing this condition as your body will develop strength in these areas minimizes the chance for deterioration.

Regardless of all the precautions you may take, wear and tear is going to occur to your body and you will lose a centimeter or two over the course of your lifespan. A condition known as Dowager’s hump is a condition in which the spine becomes compressed but this can be prevented or possibly even reversed if caught early on and physical therapy is started.

There are medical test to determine if your bones are at risk for developing osteoporosis, so meeting with your physician for your yearly checkups and having bone density scans can keep you ahead of the game before deterioration becomes severe.

Getting shorter over time is no tall tale, so if you suspect you may be someone who has developed osteoporosis or concerned you may in the future, reach out to our Atlanta chiropractors today at (404) 889-8828 for a consultation!


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