Spine length and time of day.

Have you ever noticed that you have to adjust your car’s rear view mirror at the end of the day? Well, there is a reason for this and it has to do with spinal height. Yes, you are shorter at the end of the day as the spine loses, on average, 19mm.


This can have significant effect on those that suffer with back pain…. especially if the pain is coming from the facet joints. It is the intervertebral disc that loses the height as the water is squeezed out slowly over the course of the weight bearing day. A rough calculation equates to 5 tablespoons of water that gets expelled out of the lumbar discs.

A night’s sleep draws back in those water molecules that we lose when we perform our upright duties.

As the day progresses, many people feel discomfort in their backs as the intervertebral disc loses height and the facet joints begin to shingle a bit more. This creates greater force load on the cartilage of the joints that live in behind the discs. If you want to watch a little video on facet pain, here you go.


In the clinic, I have a very accurate height measuring device. It is the heightronic. I have been collecting data for the last 8 years or so, and almost always patients are taller after treatment. I am still not sure how much the height gain is as a result of the treatment or just the act of lying down. I have seen (on average) 4mm height gains in standing posture. If you want to be taller, make an appointment with me in the morning and you can be as much as an 2.5mm (about an inch) taller.

So much to explore and research regarding spine. I wish I had another lifetime to do it. 🙂