The spine height varies naturally over the day. You do know that you are taller in the morning compared to the evening hours, before lying down…right? You may think this is not important, but if you are a back pain sufferer it is imperative that you learn your triggers to help figure out what to do about it. And the height changes in the spine are an important clue, if you are wanting to get to the bottom of it.
Why is it important to get to know your natural height change? Well, it is so you learn when to deliver exercise to the spine to help reduce inflammation. I will explain later.
I am not the only one that thinks “non-specific back pain” is a cop out. In my opinion, there is no such thing as non-specific back pain. And I am not the only one that thinks this. Stuart McGill, professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, has developed a specific strategy to identify where the pain is in the spine.
If you continue to have problems with your back or neck, and want to get a better handle on what the triggers are, it is important to understand the natural changes in the intervertebral discs as they compress over the day, and recover hydraulic height in the evening when you lie down. And one may think the height loss is linear but it isn’t.
As you can see in the below figure from an important study in 2006, the height of the discs (verticle axis) over 24hrs (horizontal axis).