People looking to add an inch or two to their height often wonder whether stretching can open growth plates. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to support that stretching can open growth plates. In this article I’ll look at what growth plates are and we’ll explore why some people think it’s possible to open them by stretching. Plus, you’ll learn how YOU can add an inch or two to your height – even if you’re an adult whose growth plates have fused!!
What Are Growth Plates?
Children’s bones are different than adults because they feature growth plates.
Growth plates are areas of cartilage in the bone and are located near the ends of the long bones. Long bones are those which have a shaft and two ends such as the thigh bone (femur).
Most long bones have at least two growth plates: one at each end of the bone.
From this you may have already guessed that bones don’t grow from the middle outward but instead the growth occurs around the growth plates at each end of the bone.
When a child is fully grown the growth plates harden into solid bone.
Isn’t the human body amazing?!
Does Stretching Open Growth Plates
In a word, no!
But don’t write stretching off just yet!
When you stretch you activate multiple systems within your body and get many benefits – aside from the obvious benfits such as increased flexibility, better sporting performance and improved posture.
You increase blood flow into the muscles that are being stretched. This has a dual benefit of ensuring that your muscles receive more oxygen but also so that waste products can be shuttled out of the muscles.
You will also activate your parasympathetic nervous system. If you don’t know what this is, think of it as the opposite of the “fight or flight” response. It’s the “rest and digest” response and it’s very important for our overall wellbeing.
This study from 2017 shows that stretching was as effective as mefenamic acid in reducing mestruation pain, suggesting that stretching should be considered as an option when we are looking to reduce or manage pain.
So while the benefits of stretching are incredible, sadly they don’t include opening growth plates!
Is There Any Natural Way to Open Growth Plates?
I inititally thought that a rare condition called acromegaly may be one thing (albeit a pituitary gland disorder) that could open growth plates.
However, I discovered that even this disorder, despite the profound effect it has on the body, can’t open growth plates that have hardened.
If a child devleops acromegaly, it is called gigantism and this does cause abnormal growth of the bones.
But, as reported by this man who suffered from the gigantism, the condition delays the hardening of the growth plates and without intervention, he would have gone on growing into his 20s and possibly beyond.
However, if acromegaly occurs after puberty and once the growth plates have hardened, then no increase of bone length takes place. The bottom line is that the acromegaly won’t open hardened growth plates.
So if there’s nothing in nature that can open growth plates, is there any medical intervention that can open growth plates?
Are There Any Medical Treatments to Open Growth Plates?
Sorry to disappoint you, but again, the answer is no.
Having said that however, I’m not sure for how much longer the answer will be no for.
A team of researches at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have made a discovery that has turned the accepted theory of the mechanism for bone growth on it’s head!
When looking at mice, they found that bone growth “takes place in accordance with the same principles as when new cells are constantly produced in blood, skin and other tissue.”
This means that if the same applies to humans, new approaches could be identified to encourage bone growth even after the growth plates have hardened.
This has huge implications for the treatment of growth disorded in children.
At the current pace of scientific and medical advancement, I wouldn’t be surprised to see cosmetic surgey practices advertising “height therapy” for their rich, but vertically-challenged clients in the next decade!
FInal Thoughts on Stretching and Growth Plates
So there you have it.
There’s nothing in the world that will open your growth plates… at least not yet.
But scientists are looking at ways that they may be able to open growth plates in the future.
If you’re hell bent on getting taller but disappointed to learn that you can’t open your growth plates, then read this article where you’ll learn how people are incresing their height by as much as two inches just by stretching!
And if you want to begin stretching but don’t know where to start then why not read our review of the Hyperbolic Stretching program – a system that guarantees results in 30 days – or your money back!
Read our review of the Hyperbolic Stretching Program and learn how we got flexible fast.