Blast! Space travel can make you taller, but it can also lead to chronic back pain.

  • New research shows that astronauts can grow to 3 inches in space.
  • Space weightlessness causes growth by straightening your spine 
  • A study also found that 52% of those who travel to space experience back pain 

Astronauts can grow three inches in space – putting them at risk of chronic back pain on their return, a study shows.

Weightlessness causes growth by straightening their spines but Earth’s gravity reverses this effect, which can result in debilitating pain.

Researchers have found that 52 percent of astronauts also experience back discomfort in the first two-to-five days of space travel. 

New research has shown that astronauts can grow up to three inches in space because the weightlessness straightens the spine (Stock image)

New research has shown that astronauts can grow as much as three inches in space due to the weightlessness of their spines (Stock photo).

It usually disappears, they added, but some develop conditions such as sciatica – a type of back pain that can radiate into the legs.

Anaesthesiology published a review of the previous studies that suggested that the vibrations of rocket travel could be causing pain. 

However, exercise in a gym may be difficult. The International Space Station now has machines for exercising, they said.

The US team, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, believe ‘resistance suits’, which activate muscle groups, are also among the solutions. 

Study author Professor Steven Cohen said: ‘Insight into back pain in space travellers may provide usable information to treat back pain in other people.’