Why do we get shorter as we get older?

Dr Rob Hicks, GP tells us:

Changes in body structure as we age are usually responsible. For example, with increasing age the cartilage between joints becomes worn out. Also, the gel within the discs, which act as shock-absorbers in between the vertebrae of the spine, dries out such that the spine is more compressed. With osteoporosis,  brittle bone disease, bone is lost and fractures often occur, particularly of the spine, resulting in a reduction of height and also a more pronounced curve in the upper back, often called the "dowager's hump".

With increasing age we tend to lose muscle mass and gain fat too.

This, in turn, can lead to weakness and so a decrease in height.
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Sylvia Larrad

An elderly friend of mine (she actually lived to be 103) once shared an observation with me. She had noticed when any of her friends were advised to start using a walking frame or the fashionable stroller type of walking aid – it often made them stoop or bend forward into it – rather than as they often previously did attempt to walk upright. I took from this “maybe” make sure you are correctly measured for these aids.

Margaret Smith

I used to be 163 in height about 5ft 4ins. I am now 155 about 5ft 1in. So have shrunk quite a bit.

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