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September 18, 2012

Picture of people running along side a riverDO YOU LIKE TO JOG OR RUN? Augusta offers lots of places to exercise like this. Well, consider that the spinal discs in your lower back lose fluid and decrease by greater than 6% when you run. To add insult to injury, this is in young adults, not older folks with disc degeneration and advanced aging changes in their spines. Imagine the loss of disc height in them! We chiropractors do, and your Augusta chiropractor worries about your spinal discs. And Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic consults with Augusta joggers and runners like you to minimize potential damage.

So here is the study behind the concern: Magnetic resonance imaging was used to quantify the influence of moderate-intensity treadmill running on the disc height and volume in the mid- and low-backs of 8 healthy young people with no back pain. They ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill. An MRI study of their spines was performed before and after the run. After moderate intensity running, a 6.3% reduction in disc height and 6.9% reduction in disc volume were found. This compares to the normal day-to-day variation in disc height and volume of 0.6 and 0.4%, respectively. (1)

At Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic, the chiropractor can direct you to proper spinal manipulation, exercises and nutritional changes in your diet to help curb this detrimental spine change. Remember, although moderate intensity running is generally advocated for apparently healthy adults, running causes a loss in stature that is thought to reflect compression of the intervertebral disc that causes loss of disc height.

Picture of spinal disc cross sectionKnow that your Augusta chiropractor understands that repetitive loading of the low back, such as occurs in running, damages the part of the disc called the annulus fibrosus which holds in the nucleus pulposus. Such disc failure is unlikely to happen with repetitive bending in the absence of compressive load. Compressive cyclic loading with low peak load magnitude also did not create the failure of the disc. (2) However, we see that the compressive loading of the disc as occurs with running does cause the disc to lose height and volume.

Contact your Augusta chiropractor at Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic for advice on how to exercise as safely as possible with minimum damage to the spine. Your future spinal health depends on it!