Sunday, July 18, 2010

Increase Height with Intramembranous Ossification?

Long bones naturally develop by endochondral ossification whereas short, flat, and irregular bones grow by intramembranous ossification.  Endochondral ossification involves hyaline cartilage and chondrocytes whereas intramembranous ossification does not.  Intramembranous ossification involves mesenchymal stem cells differentiating into osteoblasts which then lay down bone.

This form of ossification is even involved in healing bone fractures as there are stem cells within the trabeculae in the diaphysis of the long bones.  When enough stem cells come together and the appropriate genetic expression is in place the stem cells began to develop into osteoblasts.  The osteoblasts then produce trabecular bone, then the periosteum forms around the network of trabecular bone.  And cortical bone is formed between the trabecular bone and periosteum.

In intramembranous ossification there is no growth plate "fusion".  In some disorders, bone can form anywhere in the body.  Intramembranous ossification is truly organic bone growth.  Humans do not stay the same torso height once intramembranous ossification is complete.  The torso keeps growing due to hormonal changes causing the periosteum to produce new osteoblasts that lay down new cortical bone.  This is referred to as appositional growth.  The cortical bone increases the size of the bone resulting in an increase in height.  Further, intramembranous ossification within already formed bone should increase the number of trabeculae(bone density) as there is already a periosteum formed.  This increase in trabeculae can indirectly increase height by enhancing the periosteum thereby increasing the number of osteoprogenitor cells released as a result of shearing forces on the periosteum.

Appositional bone growth has been shown to be possible in runners.  Most likely due to the constant shearing forces on the periosteum altering genetic expression and releasing osteoprogenitor cells which lay down new cortical bone.  You get appositional bone growth in your spine, hip, pelvis, skull, or calcaneous and you'll grow taller.

Endochondral ossification-Grow taller by Lateral Synovial Joint Loading.  Cause microfractures in the trabecular bone of the epiphysis, increase interstitial fluid flow to send stem cells to hyaline cartilage growth plate line, the genetic expression of the hyaline cartilage growth plate line causes the stem cells to differentiate into chondrocytes

Intramemberanous Ossification-Grow taller by periosteal shear.  Cause shearing forces on the periosteum, like running does on the shin bone except for the spine, pelvic bone, skull bone, and calcaneus.  This shearing force releases osteoprogenitor cells that deposit new compact bone resulting in larger short, flat, and irregular bones resulting in a taller you.

I'm already performing tapping on my calcaneus(heel bone) and haven't really seen any results from it.  I'm going to start performing LSJL on it to see if LSJL can have the same benefits on an irregular bone.

Here's a study that states maybe there's really no such thing as intramembranous ossification and there's always a transitional chondrogenic phase:

Transient chondrogenic phase in the intramembranous pathway during normal skeletal development.

"Calvarial and facial bones form by intramembranous ossification, in which bone cells arise directly from mesenchyme without an intermediate cartilage anlage. However, a number of studies have reported the emergence of chondrocytes from in vitro calvarial cell or organ cultures and the expression of type II collagen, a cartilage-characteristic marker, in developing calvarial bones. Based on these findings we hypothesized that a covert chondrogenic phase may be an integral part of the normal intramembranous pathway. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the temporal and spatial expression patterns of cartilage characteristic genes in normal membranous bones from chick embryos at various developmental stages (days 12, 15 and 19). Northern and RNAse protection analyses revealed that embryonic frontal bones expressed not only the type I collagen gene but also a subset of cartilage characteristic genes, types IIA and XI collagen and aggrecan, thus resembling a phenotype of prechondrogenic-condensing mesenchyme. The expression of cartilage-characteristic genes decreased with the progression of bone maturation. Immunohistochemical analyses of developing embryonic chick heads indicated that type II collagen and aggrecan were produced by alkaline phosphatase activity positive cells engaged in early stages of osteogenic differentiation, such as cells in preosteogenic-condensing mesenchyme, the cambium layer of periosteum, the advancing osteogenic front, and osteoid bone. Type IIB and X collagen messenger RNAs (mRNA), markers for mature chondrocytes, were also detected at low levels in calvarial bone but not until late embryonic stages (day 19), indicating that some calvarial cells may undergo overt chondrogenesis. On the basis of our findings, we propose that the normal intramembranous pathway in chicks includes a previously unrecognized transient chondrogenic phase similar to prechondrogenic mesenchyme, and that the cells in this phase retain chondrogenic potential that can be expressed in specific in vitro and in vivo microenvironments."

Of course just because there's mesenchymal condensation and that cartilagenous genes are expressed doesn't mean there's a transient cartilage phase.


  1. I really appreciate the research you are putting into this.
    Giving those of us not blessed with much height some hope.
    What is your growth total at now btw?

  2. Hi tyler,

    i noe this sounds stupid but are you very sure there is an increase in height due to LSjl regiment? Measurements at night still reflect the same? love to hear from you.

  3. I know this isnt necessarily the same thing, but it is something interesting to think about:

    Talks about how lifelong synovial joint loading "highly increases the chances of Osteoarthritis"

    Im sure height growth is something all of us reading this blog are anxious for, but at what cost?
    Im not sure how much research you have done on the side effects (if any have been discovered), or the potential sides, but if you had to guess, what are some potential ones?
    I am sure we would all appreciate an article devoted to something similar.

  4. If pain is being felt during loading on all areas, is that a cause for concern?
    The pain dissipates immediately after the load is removed, but what worries me is that i am causing too much damage.
    The area is somewhat sensitive when pressure is applied with my hands the day of, as well as the day after my loading.
    I am using a 25lbs plates and putting a significant amount of pressure with my hands, all the while holding it in place for 4 minutes, once a day, on each area outlined in previous articles.

  5. Annonymous #1: The height increase couldn't be due to anything else besides LSJL. For two or so years, I've been trying to grow taller by cortical bone stretching with no(or minor results). My spinal bones looked thicker on the x-rays I got as a freebie at a chiropractor but I also had disc degeneration perhaps canceling it out. The disc degeneration is not due to LSJL or any other exercise but rather bad postural habits. It couldn't be anything aside from LSJL.

    Annonymous #2: I'll look it over but I can't prove that an exercise is safe. I can only address possible criticisms and see if they are valid. I know in general that you can moderately load without injury. Most injuries are a result of sudden, unexpected force(like wrestling or football injury) or due to repeated extended(really extended) trauma like marathon runners and knees.

    Like Upright rows cause damage but it takes a lot of upright rows to cause permanent damage. If you use heavier weights it's hard to perform damaging exercises like upright rows or super stretched dumbell flys. I have a study somewhere on this blog that shows that most cartilage damage occurs with lighter weights. When I write the article about the study you mentioned I'll bring it up.

    Annonymous #3: You have to cause microdamage to get bone or muscle growth. What's important is that the damage occurs in the muscle and/or the bone.

    When I first started tapping and doing LSJL with dumbell and table clamp I felt pain in my ligaments. As I practiced I don't feel any more ligament pain. It actually feels kind of good to perform LSJL with table clamp or dumbells. My bone does feel tender but as I said earlier, bone damage is anabolic.

    How long have you been doing the plate loading? Have you been getting any results? Did you do any form of exercise before trying LSJL?

  6. (This is anonymous #3)

    Okay, i understand that. As a weight lifter, i know it is essential to "damage" your muscle with micro-tears to cause muscle growth. I just dont know how comfortable i eel with fracturing bone...The concept is completely understood, but some of the potential side effects seem a little discouraging.
    I have only been plate loading for 3 days. I am starting out at 5'8.5" without shoes on a non-padded surface. My height measuring is a little suspect though, as i am only using a mirror to judge how straight of a line i am drawing with my pencil. I do this at the same time of day, use the same doorway and the same measuring tape. So far i havent had any growth.
    As far as exercises, do you mean height growth ones? If so, no i have never tried anything similar.
    How do you know if you are hitting the ligaments?
    Thanks for the reply Tyler