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Can a person grow taller after puberty?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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i have a straight forward question: can a person grow taller after puberty? Certain height increasing companies claim that the human spinal cord consists of 33 vertebrae out of which 24 are movable and not fused. So by taking the growth hormone pills(l-arginine and ornithine pills) we can increase the growth hormone and the flow of the blood which contains XXXXXXX growth hormone (obtained after taking the pills) can be increased by stretching and hence the thickening(growing) of the 24 vertebrae's which are movable occurs there by adding 2-4 more inches of height at any age.

Now i felt i will consult a specialist who'll have an idea regarding this claim of the height growing companies.
Thus i consulted you. You are a better person to say whether this mechanism is possible to occur.
After all it's better to spend 599 Rs for you and know the truth rather than spending 0000 odd RS and buy their products without confidence.

Posted Thu, 20 Sep 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 8 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
After you attain puberty, the long bones of the body stop growing further as their growing ends fuse with the bone. These bones then attain a permanent size.
Regarding the vertebrae, their height is difficult to increase and skeletal growth is not likely as the growing ends do fuse after puberty.
The relaxation of back muscles can make you taller by 1-2 inches but that is not permanent.
There are many pills, injections etc available through internet which claim to increase your height. Their effect is doubtful and do not waste your time, energy and money on them.
Regular yoga practice is known to help in improvement of the posture and ease tension in the body which, in turn, can help make a person feel taller. Several yoga positions can help to maximize these effects.
The best that can be advised to improve your height is to have adequate diet with a slightly increased amount of proteins (milk, eggs, poultry, meat, soyabean, pulses etc) and adequate vitamins and minerals. It is also essential to compensate this with adequate physical work out and stretching exercises (you could join a gym/ yoga classes).
In addition to these there is a possibility of increasing height through orthopedic surgery of the legs but it is not without side effects and the pros and cons should be discussed in detail with a good orthopedic surgeon.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can a person grow taller after puberty? 4 hours later

Thanks for your advice!
i have one more query.

can the cartilages grow after puberty?
some people say correcting your posture(straightening the spine) will add 2 more inches to your height.

in all possible ways(spine straightening,relaxation of back muscles and cartilage growth) can i expect 3 inches(8cms) of growth.

Though it may not be permanent i can make it a daily routine to exercise and maintain my height after gaining 8cms.

your advice on this please.

So your final word on growth of 24 movable vertebrae is : difficult but not impossible. right?

moreover one more question: i have a bulging on the left portion of my forehead just above the eye brows. the bulging is present on both sides of my forhead but it is not symmetrical. the bulging on the left part is more compared to the right part. is there any non-invasive way like laser treatment to remove the extra bone that has more bulging.if yes does it have any side effects?

Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 11 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
In all the possible ways you have mentioned, you can expect to increase your height by 2-3 inches ( 5-7cms) maximum but that is reversible.
By doing daily exercise, the effect might persist but there are no scientific studies available to document such a permanent increase in height.
The bulging on your forehead- if it is a bony curvature is not likely to be correctable by surgery or laser therapy. It is most likely the shape of your skull which is difficult to alter. You can consult a plastic surgeon to modify the soft tissue overlying it to make it symmetrical looking.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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