Many conditions or disorders can cause a loss of height or a hindrance of growth. Some are easy to detect and correct, and some are not. The stresses and pressures caused by the environment have lead many people, particularly women, into establishing unhealthy eating habits and disorders. There are a couple of genetically induced diseases that contribute to growth abnormalities as well as height decreasing conditions. We will briefly highlight a few common problems that can cause height loss.
Scoliosis is a condition where there is a sideways or lateral curvature of the spine. If scoliosis is severe, it ca be observed by looking at an individual’s back. If the scoliosis is present in a lesser degree, it can be detected through an X-ray. This condition reduces your height, adds stress and strain on the muscles, ligaments, and discs at the back. If the condition is not corrected, it may cause further problems. When scoliosis is severe, surgery is required to correct it. Upon which, patients usually gain at least an inch and more in height. If anyone suffers from scoliosis, the best thing is to consult a professional before starting any type of stretching or exercise programme. However, if scoliosis is present to a lesser degree, stretching and strengthening exercises can be extremely beneficial in correcting it. Stretching and strengthening underdeveloped back muscles can correct postural imbalances and promote proper alignment of the back. Hence, there will be a decrease of the curvature and an increase in height.
One condition that may cause a decrease in height is knock-knees, also known as valgus knees. Knock-knees usually occur after an injury when proper healing does not happen. They can also result from poor arches or weak muscles and ligaments. If you suffer from knock-knee that causes any pain or discomfort, it is best to consult a physician. Exercise cannot help severe cases of knock-knees. In severe cases, surgery may be required.
Bowlegs, also known as varus knees, can occur after an injury but it is most often caused by weak ligaments and muscles of the knees. This condition usually begins from childhood. If it is diagnosed early, when the child is still growing, it can be corrected by wearing special kinds of shoes.
Another cause is malnutrition, especially a lack of Vitamin D or insufficient calcium intake where the bones failed to ossify. This results in soft bones resulting in bowlegs. Same as knock-knees, it is best to consult your physician if your bowlegs cause pain or discomfort. Exercises can help and retard mild case of bowlegs by strengthening the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones of the legs. Severe cases such as injury or subnormal absorption by the small intestine would require medical attention.
Hyperextended knees refer to condition where the knees are thrown back in a locked position. This causes problems to your knees and also contributes towards the development of lordosis.
If the knees are not extensively hyperextended, they can be corrected. The best treatment is to strengthen the leg muscles, especially the thigh muscles. Some of the helpful thighs strengthening exercises include squats, lunges, and leg presses. Consciously reminding yourself to keep your knees loose when you feel them locked back also helps correct the problem.
Growth hormone, also known as somatotropin, is most readily released during deep sleep and exercise. Growth hormone accelerates growth by increasing the size of organs and promoting the growth of bones. If there is an overproduction of growth hormone is an adult, the bones increase in thickness instead of length. That leads to acromegaly – the enlargement of the bones of the head, feet, hands, and sometimes other structures.
Knee flexure is when the knees are in a constant state of being bent. A flat back and poor posture usually accompanies this condition. Knee flexure is not a serious problem and can be easily corrected. Stretching and increasing the flexibility of the hamstring and calf muscles can correct mist knee flexure problems.
Dysfunction that causes underproduction of growth hormone during childhood may result in dwarfism. As described in an earlier chapter, most physicians hesitate to administer artificial growth hormone to normal children for the sole purpose of making them taller.
Other Growth Disorders
Other growth disorders include the inability to properly absorb food. This is usually caused by a problem in the intestine. When an individual cannot properly absorb and digest essential nutrients, they suffer from a lot of symptoms, including stunted growth. A growth disorder can also be the result of certain lung and kidney disorders.
Psychological stress can also cause short statue and stunted growth. Some children fail to grow if they suffer from severe physical or emotional abuse. However, if removed from an abusive environment, the secretion of human growth will tend to resume. If you have concerns regarding your growth, it is best to visit your doctor or medical professional that specialises in growth disorders.