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Astronauts Are Prone to Back Problems, Study Says • Mirror Daily

Exercising is crucial to avoid back problems when traveling to space.

(Mirror Daily, United States) A recent study from specialists accounts for a series of health issues triggered by space travel. Experts explain that astronauts are prone to back problems. Their study is based on analyses and tests performed on people who have traveled to space and developed certain health issues.

The recent research was led by specialists at the San Diego University. It is based on the analyses of six brave astronauts from NASA, including a woman. They were submitted to tests before and after traveling to space. Six weeks after they came back, the tests were repeated.

The primary technique used by doctors was MRI scans. The tests revealed that the six astronauts had signs of muscle atrophy on their backs. The muscles which support the spine, called paraspinal muscles,  were weaker and shrunk. The symptoms can lead to complications, such as herniated discs, as doctors state.

Physicians explain that muscle atrophy takes its toll on the bones. The bones of the spine become stiff and tend to straighten out. This is why astronauts report back pains when they return home.

Specialists also explain that back problems can affect the performances of astronauts. Long journeys to distant planets can affect their health. Back pains and other problems can prevent them from doing their job properly. The researchers are especially concerned about the future Mars explorers and the health risks that they are exposed to.

Experts believe that the lack of gravity is concerned with some of these issues. They discovered that if people are exposed to the extraterrestrial space for too long, they can grow taller. The specialists observed that astronauts could gain up to two more inches in height.

In order to relieve back pain, the specialists recommend yoga. This piece of advice doesn’t hold valid only for astronauts who traveled or will travel in space, but for other people too.

Moreover, health experts recommend that astronauts should be revising their set of regular exercisers. They follow a daily routine on Earth in order to stay healthy in space. Physical activity is highly important for their bones and muscles, but microgravity in space is not helping them to complete the exercises correctly.Experts also advise that special neck exercises should be developed.

The new study investigating the back problems of astronauts was published in Spine. Space agencies that aim to launch manned missions to celestial bodies should take into consideration the latest findings from specialists.

Image courtesy of: Wikipedia

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