During space missions, astronauts grow three inches, creating chronic back pain.


During space missions, astronauts grow three inches, creating chronic back pain.

Astronauts can grow three inches on space missions, according to Johns Hopkins University experts, which can cause chronic back pain when they return to Earth.

During space missions, astronauts can gain three inches in height, causing chronic back pain.

When they are weightless, their spines straighten, causing them to ‘grow,’ but when they return to Earth, gravity crunches it back, causing severe pain.

The spinal curvature, which is an S-shaped bend that helps the spine resist gravity and absorbs weight and shock, remains flexible and absorbs weight and impact.

However, in space, it flattens out, and MRI scans have revealed that astronauts, such as William Shatner, who returned from Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, may have a lesser curve in their spine.

For their new study, experts from Johns Hopkins University in the United States analyzed current studies.

“Humans can ‘grow’ up to three inches in space as the spine adapts to microgravity,” said Dr Radostin Penchev, a resident physician at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

“If reduced gravity causes this curvature to straighten, it could not only cause acute pain in astronauts but also compromise their spine stability when they return to Earth.”

According to the studies, 80 percent of space travelers experienced back pain after landing on Earth.

The majority of the time, it goes away on its own, but astronauts are more susceptible to sciatica, a type of back pain that can radiate into the legs.

The stress and vibration trauma of flying in a rocket, as well as changes in astronauts’ diets while in space, could be causing discomfort, according to the research team, whose findings were published in the journal Anaesthesiology.

Resistance exercises such as isometrics, squats, lunges, and bench pressing, which have been a mainstay of back pain prevention, have often been used by astronauts to stop it.

Exercise equipment and other resistance training gear are now available aboard space stations.

When combined with regular exercise, resistance suits can help 85 percent of people with back discomfort.

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