Laura Dydra at Becker Spine recently wrote a great article on trends in foraminal height for healthy people. As chiropractors, this information is very important because the foraminal height directly affects the exiting nerve roots. In my opinion some of the information uncovered should be used for further research regarding the adjustment of patients who are 'asymptomatic' but may have clinical signs indicated somatic dysfunction/subluxation.
Ms. Dydra wrote, "Researchers examined subject-based three-dimensional CT lumbar models for asymptomatic subjects to measure trends in foraminal height for the healthy spine and published their results in Spine.
The research included 59 volunteers. Here are eight findings from the study:
- Overall foraminal height decreased with age
- Foraminal height in males decreased at all levels with age
- Foraminal height in females did not decrease at all levels
- Foraminal height was significantly larger in the upper lumbar levels
- Foraminal height was smaller in males than females
- Foraminal width decreased with age in both sexes
- Foraminal widths at the lower lumbar levels were smaller than those at the upper levels
- Age-related foraminal width decreased at all lumbar levels"
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