Depending on who you ask, a chiropractor may or may not be able to cure just about everything. I know I personally believe in them and I’ve had plenty of relief in my back due to regular visits. Having spent years relying on my chiropractor, I know that they can help with just about anything.
In fact, over the past decade, back health has been in the public eye as much as possible and more than ever before. That’s thanks to a lot of new medical information regarding physical human development. Low-impact forms of exercise like yoga and tai chi have also helped to push this discussion forward, as social consciousness has continued to learn about the connections between physical and mental well-being.
As the data piles up regarding spinal health, and the studies have continued to grow, several advocates for regular chiropractic visits have made claims about the practice being a great, non-invasive way to increase a person’s height. In fact, over the last few years, height adjustment has become a marketable component of the chiropractic field. Same goes for inversion table routines.
Why Is This Idea Of Increasing Height Via Chiropractor Visits So Prevalent?
One of the biggest reasons for this correlation tends to be anecdotal evidence. There is a slew of testimonials from individuals and physicians online who have seen up to 3 or 4 inches of growth after starting regular chiropractic adjustments.
Even rock stars have benefited from this type of physical therapy. The renowned rock group Radiohead even famously had a performance saved by a chiropractor, and in doing so, the specialist unwittingly added a couple of inches to diminutive frontman Thom Yorke’s height!
During a show in 1993, right before showtime, the singer collapsed in pain, unable to stand upright due to what was later identified as retracted nerves in his spine. An emergency physician was called in, who promptly adjust the superstar’s back mere minutes before he was to walk out onstage. The most impressive thing about this occurrence was that after a few additional sessions, Thom’s height increased by over two inches, an unintended but welcome side effect for the (now) 5’5″ musician.
While stories like these give hope to shorter folks who struggle with their view of the world, they don’t evidence per se.
The Reality Of It All
The truth is that a lot of chiropractors don’t like to speak of this particular effect from spinal adjustments, primarily because it’s sporadic in nature. It’s not like taking a Growth Factor pill that we know will most likely lead to results. This is something that just happens as a result of getting adjustments, sort of a secondary effect you could say. The truth is, for the most part, a patient who has adjustments is guaranteed to see an increase in height, be they first-time patients or long-term adherents to the treatment, but most of the time it does happen.
The Real Rubber Band Man – No, Not T.I.
Imagine your spine kind of like a rubber band. Now, if you cut this rubber band and laid it straight on a table, it would be of a certain length. If, however, you applied pressure and stretched this rubber band out while it lay there, it would appear longer, although, in reality, the band would still be the same physical length. This rubber band would also be weaker at its stretched points.
This is the basic premise behind a misaligned spine. When the back is crooked, it can have curves and bends that prevent a person from standing upright while causing pain. After a series of adjustments, the person will register as taller because they’re most likely standing upright for the first time in years, possibly ever.
Intervertebral Disc Issues
Another back issue that affects height is related to something called “intervertebral discs.” These are cushions of cartilage that sit between each of your vertebrae. Over time, these discs flatten and wear out, a process that can be severely sped up by an unaligned spine.
This is one of the main processes behind older individuals “shrinking” as they head into their golden years. Luckily, a well-adjusted spine can help stave off the degradation of these discs, which has a notable effect in preserving height as you age.
The third issue that can be helped by chiropractic visits has more to do with your core strength. More specifically, the issue focuses on a set of muscles called the Erector Spinae group. This group is what helps keep your back and spine straight, and is the reason so many doctors say that a “strong back is a healthy back.”
Individuals with a strong core often have less spinal issues than people who don’t, due to the benefits on posture that muscle development can provide. Bear in mind, however, that keeping these muscles strong is only half the battle, as your spine will still occasionally suffer from alignment issues that adversely affect the surrounding muscles. This is pretty much why just about personal trainers and doctors tell you that you must exercise regularly if you want to be in good shape.
Where To Go From Here
When all boiled down, there are loads of incentives to have regular checkups regarding your physical health, and your back is no different. While your height may not be guaranteed to increase, your spine’s continued health will only help guarantee a better quality of life in your future. That said, my advice would be to see a local chiropractor and find out what they can do to increase the health of your back.