Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Is it easier to grow taller via short, irregular, et al. bones than it is long bones?

According to Cliff Notes:

Here are the main features of a long bone:
  • The diaphysis, or shaft, is the long tubular portion of long bones. It is composed of compact bone tissue.
  • The epiphysis (plural, epiphyses) is the expanded end of a long bone.
  • The metaphysis is the area where the diaphysis meets the epiphysis. It includes the epiphyseal line, a remnant of cartilage from growing bones.
  • The medullary cavity, or marrow cavity, is the open area within the diaphysis. The adipose tissue inside the cavity stores lipids and forms the yellow marrow.
  • Articular cartilage covers the epiphysis where joints occur.
  • The periosteum is the membrane covering the outside of the diaphysis (and epiphyses where articular cartilage is absent). It contains osteoblasts (bone-forming cells), osteoclasts (bone-destroying cells), nerve fibers, and blood and lymphatic vessels. Ligaments and tendons attach to the periosteum.
  • The endosteum is the membrane that lines the marrow cavity.

Here are the main features of short, flat, and irregular bones:
  • In short and irregular bones, spongy bone tissue is encircled by a thin layer of compact bone tissue.
  • In flat bones, the spongy bone tissue is sandwiched between two layers of compact bone tissue. The spongy bone tissue is called the diploe.
  • Periosteum covers the outside layer of compact bone tissue.
  • Endosteum covers the trabeculae that fill the inside of the bone.
  • In certain bones (ribs, vertebrae, hip bones, sternum), the spaces between the trabeculae contain red marrow, which is active in hematopoiesis.

    We know it is possible to increase the width of the periosteum. The periosteal width increased by about 4% as a result of sprinting. And, we know that bone can model in the absence of microfractures. In addition to these two facts, sprinting also increased cortical bone area. In short and irregular bones, the periosteum covers the entire outside of the bone therefore any change in periosteal width should increase height.

     So the potential for height increase via increasing the periosteal width of the non-long bones is not very much at all.

    The vertebrae are irregular bones. If you increase the periosteal width of all your vertebral bones by 4% that would be quite a significant increase in overall body height. Flat bones include the skull and the pelvis which provides another opportunity to add 4% of height. Since flat bones consist of trabecular bone sandwiched between two pieces of cortical bone they are also sandwiched between two pieces of periosteum.

    Now, if you take all that together that would be a pretty significant increase in height. Let's say that the spine is 2 feet long, now we also have to consider that the pelvis and the skull can add to height too but we have to consider that the intervertebral discs don't. If you increase the bone width by 4% you get 0.96 inches. But consider that it's not 4% of the bone width that increased in the sprinting studies it's 4% of the periosteal width.

    However, if we could perform exercises that could increase the growth of the periosteum by more than 4% than that height increase could turn into something quite significant.

    So, until we find exercises that can really expand the size of the periosteum it's best to keep our experiments towards growing taller via distraction forces(lateral synovial joint loading) and microfractures(i.e. sprinting, jumping, weight exercises).


  1. can you explain the best way to gain hieght without growth plates being open? but in a non scientific manner lol

  2. I'm working on proving LSJL. That would be the best way to gain height. Any method of height increase that involves the growth plates is better than a method that doesn't involve them. Remember there's still the growth plate line there that occurs after the growth plates are "fused". In theory, Lateral Synovial Joint Loading sends down cells to reactivate the growth plates.

  3. is it in any way possible for growth to take place on leg faster than the other.