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Spine Issues Faced By NASA Astronauts



NASA revealed that a serious health issue has been encountered by astronauts and Mars colonizers who travel to MARS. It is observed that the astronauts grow taller during their long term space flight around the red planet. Though this is an undue advantage to some of the shorty Joes who can’t gain height on planet earth, it is also a huge disadvantage as they come with back pain and injuries.

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Months on the space travel can lead to the spine to shrink and no matter how much an astronaut tries; he can’t get back to normal for several weeks on end.

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To test this, researchers from the University of California assessed six astronauts who had gone to the International Space Station for four to seven months and found out that the cross sectional area of the muscles that run along the spine and support the spine thus preventing misalignment, was decreased by 19 % Over the recovery of a month or two, only two-thirds of this reduction was recovered.

The results under the influence of micro gravity showed that astronauts do not depend on spinal muscles to stabilize and support the body in any way as they float weightlessly in space which in turn get prone to atrophy that causes the bones in the spine to straighten and stiffen.

Researchers used to attribute astronaut’s back pain to the swelling of the spinal discs when the back is not compressed by the weight of the body, but MRI scans of the astronauts did not show evidence of this.

“These findings run counter to the current scientific thinking about the effects of micro gravity on disc swelling,” as quoted by one of the researcher.

Finally, the researchers and findings have suggested to the astronauts for a lifestyle change in their routines in order to keep themselves healthy. They have to perform core- strengthening exercises and neck rotation exercises in order to keep them selves healthy.

This problem needs to be treated at the earliest as NASA plans to send a manned mission to planet MARS in the future after the study of presence of water on the planet.

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