Rodney Shoemaker
Special to the Bonanza

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July 3, 2013
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Tahoe health tip: Just hanging around

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — As a follow-up to last week’s article regarding shrinking discs (“Adjusting the rearview mirror”) and answers to people’s questions:

Just as our spinal discs dehydrate and shrink each day, the discs have a collective shrinking over our lifetimes. We all are aware that we are not as tall at the end of life as we are in mid-life. The reason for this is that the spinal discs lose the cells responsible for binding water. When this happens, the discs do not plump up as much as they used to, and we eventually lose height due to thinning of the discs.

One way to keep discs healthy is to hang in an inversion table. You do not have to completely invert to receive the benefits. Hanging at a 45 degree angle is sufficient. Hanging for 5 minutes at the end of the day will stretch your back enough to begin the re-hydration process. Hanging at the end of the day will provide more benefit than the beginning of the day because the spinal discs have shrunk more at the end of the day.

People with spinal disc injuries that result in disc bulges, herniations or age-related degeneration will benefit from spinal decompression therapy. Spinal decompression therapy is a 20-minute treatment of being secured to a table that comfortably stretches and then slowly performs a back and forth pumping motion.

The pumping movement combined with stretching encourages the discs to reshape and rehydrate at an accelerated rate. Research suggests twenty visits for long lasting relief, but most people realize benefits after just a few treatments.

Rodney Shoemaker, DC, works with Incline Chiropractic Natural Health Center, located at 894 Southwood Blvd. in Incline Village. Learn more at

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Sierra Sun Updated Jul 3, 2013 05:58PM Published Jul 3, 2013 05:38PM Copyright 2013 Sierra Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.