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How do our spines change as we age?

Juan P. Villablanca, MD
Neuroradiology
As we age, the ligaments in our spines change from being flexible and strong to being a little more brittle and delicate. Sometimes the ligaments even shrink a bit. These changes make the spine more vulnerable to injury. The disk spaces in the spine also get narrower, and the gelatinous material between disks can become dry. If this happens, one vertebra can end up resting on another instead of being protected by the cushioning effect of the disk. This bone-on-bone condition can be very painful.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.