Bed Rest Increases Lumbar Compression Forces!

A frequently asked question from patients with LBP is, “Why does my back hurt more after a long period of lying down”?

A possible answer: “With bed rest, the inter-vertebral discs increase in size due to the fact that they resorb fluid when unloaded. The swollen discs may inturn increase the pressure and compressive forces on the vertebrae and cause more pain.”?

Interesting study on astronauts: Increased mineral density in the vertebrae is documented in astronauts following prolong space travel. This fact is very interesting as other bones in the body lose minerals as a result of weightlessness.

One explanation for the unexpected increased vertebral density is that the spine was stimulated to lay down more bone in response to the higher loads. It may be hypothesized that prolonged bed rest may actually compress and stress the spine.

Posted on: September 15, 2004

Categories: Lumbar Spine

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