This idea that I just read about is actually one of the only ideas that I have seen which have a really good chance of working in at least restoring the lost height in the lower back of the torso from diurnal variation of height throughout the day.
Of all the stretching exercises that I have looked at, this is one of the most creative and smartest. I am actually rather surprised that I did not consider this idea since it has many of the elements to at least temporarily increased height in a person from spinal disk decompression.
I was reading this Clinical Study entitled “Interventional Study of Effects on Spine Height With Two Unloading Positions” from the Clinical Studies government website where these researchers wanted to see if a person who suffers from lower back pain and upper leg pain can find pain relief from doing certain exercises which will restore their height back. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:NCT01048749. It is sponsored by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
“This study will compare two such positions; 1) floating in deep warm water with weights attached to the ankles, to take the load off of the spine…”
- Subjects with low back and leg pain suggestive of nerve root compression syndrome will experience increase in spinal height when completing aquatic vertical suspension and/or land-based supine flexion.”
Other: aquatic vertical suspension.
Subject is suspended in a warm water deep pool with two pool noodles around the subject and directly under the axilla. Five pound weights are placed on the ankle and the subject maintains this unloaded position for 15 minutes.
Other Name: Physical Therapy Treatment
Spinal height is affected throughout life from many different physiological changes and mechanical stresses, but a large portion is thought to occur primarily from intervertebral disc degeneration with resultant reduction in overall spinal height. The use of specific postures and rest periods to increase the overall spinal height has been suggested through various stadiometric research studies. This overall spinal height change can be used as a treatment tool for management of symptoms of chronic low back pain and signs of nerve root compression.
The purpose of the study is to investigate the effect of aquatic vertical suspension on spinal height, symptom location and pain intensity compared to a more commonly used land based supine flexion position.
The physical therapist are telling people who are between 40-60 to use the pool and use a combination of pool floats and pool weights to pull the body in the tensile fashion.
Note what is written for this study about how the technique is done…
Subject is suspended in a warm water deep pool with two pool noodles around the subject and directly under the axilla. Five pound weights are placed on the ankle and the subject maintains this unloaded position for 15 minutes
So the person should get in the deep end of the pool, where the depth must be so deep that the person’s feet can not touch the ground. They will take two swimming noodles, which are just those straw-like large cylindrical foam devices around most pools, and wrap the noodles either around their shoulder or around their torso to be used as the device to hold the upper body up.
THe 2nd part of this technique involves attaching weights to the ankles which will pull the lower part of the body downward. This technique then just becomes a weaker version of a traction machine. The person is not supposed to move around but just hold this static position for over 15 minutes, which is a rather long time. After 15 minutes, I guess the subject removes the noodles and weights can get their heights remeasured to show that their height was indeed increased temporarily.
If I was to make a guess on the effectiveness of this technique, I would say that it has a better chance of working than many other ideas that are easy, simple, and rather cheap to implement for a fast way to temporarily increase height.
The result of what were the results was published in the study “Immediate changes in spinal height and pain after aquatic vertical traction in patients with persistent low back symptoms: a crossover clinical trial.”
The results from trying out the aquatic vertical suspension method instead of the land based supine flexion…
Height Increase from Aquatic Vertical Suspension: 5 mm with an average of almost 3 mm in variation. This means that a person can either gain only 2 mm of extra height, or they gain upwards of 8 mm of extra height, which is really impressive considering that it took only 15 minutes to achieve this result of almost 1 extra cm of temporary height.
It is interesting that Tyler already wrote about this idea in the post “Gain Temporary Height With Spinal Traction?” almost an entire year ago.
He noted that there was another study [Acute effects of mechanical lumbar traction with different intensities on stature]. which showed similar results, for much younger subjects.
Using weights that were either 10% or 50% of their weight, after 15 minutes suspended in the water, the resultant increased height was around 0.567 ± 0.049 for the 50% weight vs. 0.298 ± 0.041 cm for the 10% weight. Interestingly, it took 10 minutes for the height increase from the 50% weight to go away while for the 10% ankle weights, the temporary height increase goes away after just 5 minutes. Tyler would suggest at the end of the post to maybe increase the weight to 75% of our weight.
The difficulty is to ask just how are we supposed to get something that is 75% of our weight uploaded to a public pool if we are in excess of say 200 lbs. However this idea is reasonable and useful to gain temporary height of around half a centimeter.