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Why Do We Get Shorter With Age?

If you have been asking yourself “Why am I shrinking in height?” The scientific explanation can lead you to an accurate answer. 

According to medical experts, our spine shrinks as we get older. Since our height depends upon spinal bones, leg bones, and skull, a shrinkage in the spine directly affects our height. 

Our spine comprises 33 segmented bones or vertebrae, which have 23 discs between them. These discs are made of soft tissue and act as shock absorbers for our vertebrae and spine. We also have segments of cartilage in the spine joints that are known as facet joints. These facet joints allow you to turn your spine and be flexible in your movements. 

As we grow older, the discs and cartilage between our vertebrae start to break down and shrink. When this happens, you can start losing the upright form of your spine as well as the formation of height that was possible in your early twenties. 

In turn, a shrinkage in the discs and cartilage has an effect on the uprightness and length of your spine. As you continue to age and your spinal bones continue to lose their height, you start appearing shorter. 

After the age of 35, we also lose more bone mass than we experience bone buildup. This can have an effect on making your spine appear shorter in height as well.

But if you are thinking about why am I shrinking in height to a significant degree, the answer may come in the form of osteoporosis. In this medical condition, your bones start to lose their density and become brittle. This condition is especially evident in women aged 50 or older, but it also affects men. 

While there is not much that you can do to prevent the natural shrinkage of spinal discs and cartilage, you can prevent osteoporosis by exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol, steering clear of smoking, and consuming a diet rich in calcium as well as vitamin D. 

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