Preventing Back Pain in Space Travelers

What role does microgravity play in back pain?

via the Johns Hopkins News-Letter

The initial motivation of this project started with Penchev doing a rotation in the topic of pain management at his workplace. After reviewing different types of pain, Penchev and his colleagues decided to look further into back pain among astronauts and give a more systematic review of it.

Back pain among astronauts is most commonly caused by microgravity, a condition in which people become weightless in space. This phenomenon induces pathophysiological changes in the spine, such as elongation of the spine and its ligaments. After a duration of six months in space, astronauts tend to lose spine curvature and have muscle atrophy. These changes weaken the spine and cause it to not be able to stand the pressure on Earth.

Read more.


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