The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences


Osteoporosis and Degenerative Disc Disease can cause a loss of height in the spine. This paper focuses on the mechanisms that cause age-related loss of height and its effects. Possible relationships between receptor activator nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) and estrogen with osteoporosis are discussed, as well as possible genetic causes. Exercise may prevent osteoporosis. Osteoporosis may cause a loss of height, vertebral fracture, a decrease in maximum lung capacity, and hip fracture. Degenerative disc disease may cause shortening of the spine. Disc height loss can result in a reduction in the range of motion and stiffness at the affected spinal segments. Degenerative disc disease may cause a small increase in vertebral height which can lead to complications in treatments.