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Standing Tall

Measuring boy's height

Young peoples' bones stop growing by approximately age 20, somewhat earlier in women and somewhat later in men. Long bone growth, that is, in the arm, forearm, thigh, and leg, ceases later and smaller bone growth, that is, in the hands, feet, and spine, ceases earlier. In essence, you're as tall as you're going to be by your mid- to late teens, and at the latest, by approximately age 20 or so. A great deal of a person's height is comprised of the length of her or his spine and approximately 25% of the length of an adult human spine consists of the thickness of the intervertebral discs.

Intervertebral discs (IVDs) are cartilaginous structures, composed of a gelatinous center termed the nucleus pulposus and thick fibrocartilage bands encircling and supporting the inner ball bearing–like nuclear material. Together, the inner and outer structures create a hydraulic mechanism which adapts, moment by moment, to mechanical forces, primarily those of gravity, impinging upon the human form. The intricate design of the IVD helps to distribute outer mechanical forces efficiently, so that no single physiological component is required to support an excessive force or weight. Thus, IVD integrity is essential to normal human activities, and appropriate maintenance of the IVD cartilaginous structure is necessary to help ensure effective performance.

Obtaining sufficient water is the primary nutritional requirement of intervertebral discs. Therefore, drinking four to eight glasses of water each day will greatly assist in supporting one's function as a physiological machine. As well, physical activity is needed to help pump fluids into the IVD cartilage. When one is sedentary, as most of us are during the large majority of our waking hours, IVDs progressively lose water content over the course of the day. Dehydrated IVDs may lead to diminished spinal range of motion and increased stiffness, which may in turn cause muscular inflammation, neck pain, and low back pain.

Thus, we want to be sure we're taking steps to keep our IVDs healthy. In addition to engaging in regular exercise and drinking enough water, making sure we get regular chiropractic care helps support the integrity and efficient functioning of our intervertebral discs and the workings of our spinal columns as a whole. By detecting and correcting dysfunction of spinal intervertebral joints, regular chiropractic care boosts the functioning of IVDs, increases the mobility of the spine in all three dimensions, and optimizes spinal performance. By participating in healthy lifestyles and getting regular chiropractic care, we help maximize our health and well-being now and into the future.

  1. Vo NV, et al: Molecular mechanisms of biological aging in intervertebral discs. J Orthop Res 34(8):1289-1306, 2016
  2. Bowden JA, et al: In vivo correlates between daily physical activity and intervertebral disc health. J Orthop Res Oct 4, 2017 doi: 10.1002/jor.23765. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Steele J, et al: Can specific loading through exercise impart healing or regeneration of the intervertebral disc? Spine J 15(10):2117-2121, 2015

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  • "After dealing with a sore shoulder and limited range of motion for several weeks, Dr. Fahrendorf did a few adjustments on it and it felt significantly better. He also helped improve my low back pain. I highly recommend Dr. Fahrendorf."
    Eric A.
  • "Dr. Eric does not mess around. From his thorough exams to his great adjustments, he is the man to get you feeling better. No matter if you are bothered by headaches, back pain, or just looking to take your health to that next level."
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  • "Dr Fahrendorf always goes the extra mile to make sure the entire family is not only feeling better, but that we're also performing at our best! I cannot recommend him enough!"
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  • "My patient experience with Dr. Fahrendorf has been all about amazing results, amazing care. A friend of mine recently mentioned he needed help, and I just started talking about Fahrendorf Family Chiropractic + Wellness. I described how much time Dr. Fahrendorf takes to listen, evaluate, and
    treat me. My friend commented he'd been to a local chiropractor who had patients lined up one bed after another, going right down the line... next, next. Health care today has become all about quantity, but, in Dr.Fahrendorf's case it is about QUALITY care. It's almost unusual for a doctor today to take any amount of time to care for a patient. Exceptional results, exceptional care!"
    Chris H.
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    for his patients. He is a great chiropractor, and he is an even better person. I highly recommend him!"
    Eric J.
  • "I came to see Dr. Fahrendorf with severe hip pain and shoulder pain. I left his office pain free! The difference in my range of motion and strength in my extremities after my treatment from Dr. Fahrendorf is mind-blowing. He's an absolute genius when it comes to extremity pain!"
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