T Nation

Shrinking Spine?

I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting new skin folds on my torso that weren’t there before. This is despite neither losing nor gaining any body fat. The only reason I can think of that would produce skin folds when not losing nor gaining body fat would be a loss in the height of the spinal column either due to a disc or vertebral compression fracture, or spondy problem. Then the skin that would usually be stretched taut by the height of the spine would be forced to fold back in on itself, creating skin folds, as it would no longer be stretched taut because the spine has shrunk an inch (and that inch of skin has to go somewhere, it doesn’t magically disappear)…

Now I can’t be sure I’ve shrunk, mainly because I didn’t measure my height before so I have nothing to compare it against, but this is my suspicion. Could anything else except shrinking in the spine be causing these skin folds when I’ve not lost or gained body fat?

I don’t have any significant back pain, but I do notice that when lying down at night there is a bit of an arch in my spine, and if I flatten that arch against the bed there is sometimes a little painless click… Not sure if that indicates a spondy?

Is it possible to have a back condition that causes you to lose height in your twenties without giving you any back pain?

And for those of you with spondys, disc issues - or those of you who actually lost height in your spine for whatever reason, did you notice these skin folds?

In your forties(according to your profile) you are likely to be about half an inch shorter than around 17 when you stopped getting taller. That is average population, by lifting it might be a bit shorter. Using some single leg work is a smart way to stay somewhat tall.
Skin loose elasticity overtime so an 18 yo looks different than a 50+.

Each decade we evolve. The healthier your nutrition and lifestyle the slower the aging might be. Genes are a factor, smoking, etc…
I try to do vertical pulls daily and avoid compressing my spine too much.
Stretching, yoga, we have ways available, leg raise hanging…

[quote]hb50p wrote:
In your forties(according to your profile) you are likely to be about half an inch shorter than around 17 when you stopped getting taller. That is average population, by lifting it might be a bit shorter. Using some single leg work is a smart way to stay somewhat tall.
Skin loose elasticity overtime so an 18 yo looks different than a 50+.

Each decade we evolve. The healthier your nutrition and lifestyle the slower the aging might be. Genes are a factor, smoking, etc…
I try to do vertical pulls daily and avoid compressing my spine too much.
Stretching, yoga, we have ways available, leg raise hanging…[/quote]

Does it say I’m in my forties in my profile? Lol, dunno why I wrote that, I’m 24.

“lunk 43 yrs” i just copied that from the top of your profile page.

Are you leaning forward from too much computer, TV, job, pressing with little or no pulling ?

[quote]hb50p wrote:
“lunk 43 yrs” i just copied that from the top of your profile page.

Are you leaning forward from too much computer, TV, job, pressing with little or no pulling ?[/quote]

Yeah, I’ve got a desk job (that can’t be helped), but my routine is just the opposite, actually - I do zero pressing, and all pulling.

No bench press or press ups, but lots of weighted chin ups and rows. I’ve been trying to counteract the desk job with my routine.

lol

Dude I really doubt you’re shrinking…

Skin folds are most likely fat gain. Sorry bruv

Hey, well, the skin only folds when I bend to the side. But it’s more noticeable than it was before - even when I had more bodyfat than before…

I know that when you have spondys, the shrinking in the spine can make you look fat because all your organs are bulging out as they’re compressed by the loss of trunk height. But as I’ve said, I don’t have back pain. Do you think you can get really bad spondylolisthesis - such that it makes you shrink - without even noticing any back pain or sciatica?

You are probably getting more flexible from sidebending to check on it so often. You are able to bend more to the side so your skin folds more.

Here is an example of the shrinking I’m talking about. If you get into a quadruped position on your hands and knees , keep your knees in the same place, but walk your hands round to either left or the right (so your spine bends sideways), in the morning I can do this fine. In the evening my ribs impinge on my hip bone when I do this movement. But it never used to be the case that this movement was uncomfortable - in the morning or the evening. This indicates overall spinal shrinkage to me.

Yet, as I said before, I’m in no significant back pain. Thus, I ask, is it possible to have your spine shrink in your twenties by having some back condition that causes no pain or sciatica, so you’re just unaware that you have it?

[quote]lunk wrote:
Hey, well, the skin only folds when I bend to the side. But it’s more noticeable than it was before - even when I had more bodyfat than before…
[/quote]

That’s like saying “I only notice the fat on my stomach when I’m sitting”.

You’ve probably gained fat. Even if it looks more wrinkled than it did when you were previously fatter, the more rational explanation would be that your skin stretched out a bit from when you had more body fat, so now the skin is more likely to wrinkle.