Can Adults Grow Taller?

Can Adults Grow Taller?

Nearly everyone shrinks with age. But some people insist, often after an annual visit to their doctor, that they’ve added a half-inch or so. If they aren’t children or teens, they’re probably mistaken, says Todd Milbrandt, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who explains the significance of physes and what makes 20 a special number.
She spurts, she grows

All children grow at a slow rate until they stop, with spurts as infants and during adolescence. With a good diet rich in vitamin D and calcium, most girls will grow from age 10 to 14 and be completely done by 16, while boys grow from 12 until about 16 or 18, “with some, in rare circumstances, growing up until 20,” says Dr. Milbrandt, a board member of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. After that, their growth plates, also called physes—the cartilage near the ends of each bone—are absorbed into the body, which forestalls further change.

“There may be a 21-year-old patient that is young, in terms of his bone age, which is why he may still be growing in college, whereas others may have stopped when they are 13 or 14,” says Dr. Milbrandt, who does research on growth plates.

Scientists are investigating what turns physes on and off, Dr. Milbrandt says. Pediatric endocrinologists might prescribe a hormone called IGF-1 to children of short stature during puberty to achieve average height. But it won’t work in adults “because adults do not have physes,” he says.

People with endocrine abnormalities can grow in height as adults, but they may have a condition called gigantism. “They usually have a pituitary tumor that produces too much of that growth hormone,” says Dr. Milbrandt. “But even they would grow only until 25.” Adults who keep growing past 21 or so should see a doctor, he says.

Have a tall morning

Some adults might mistakenly believe they have grown because height can vary during the day. In general, people are taller in the morning than in the afternoon, often because cells absorb more fluid overnight, Dr. Milbrandt says.

“Imagine a tire that is pumped up—that is high turgor,” he says. “When you wake up and you haven’t been standing all day, your turgor is at its peak, so you’re taller than you would be at night. You’re pumped up.” By the end of the day, gravity takes its toll and the spaces between the spinal disks have lost that turgor.

The difference in height between morning and night could be half an inch, “but an inch would be a stretch,” says Dr. Milbrandt. “More than likely, a patient was standing taller at the doctor’s office or went in the morning.” Plus, he says, doctors’ scales can vary and “height measurements are notoriously imprecise.”

Stretching for the sky

After puberty, nearly everyone starts to shrink as age and gravity work their wonders. But there are ways to maintain height and even optimize it, says Dr. Milbrandt. He says he always recommends a vitamin D supplement to encourage strong bones. Stretching and yoga might have some effect on height by elongating the spine, but the effect is temporary. “I haven’t read any studies that show that you can elongate the spine permanently,” he says.
As for those folks who claim to be an inch taller this year over last? “They are mistaken,” insists Dr. Milbrandt. “Or their doctor needs a new scale.”

Can Adults Grow Taller?

The 10 Fastest-Growing Companies in America

1. Ultra Mobile

The Costa Mesa, California, wireless company, founded in 2011 by David Glickman, posted an astonishing 100,849 percent rise in sales, to $118.2 million, from 2011 to 2014.

2. Tryfacta

The nearly-20-year-old cloud and big data service grew its sales an impressive 28,365 percent, to $34.4 million, from 2011 to 2014. In five years, CEO Adesh Tryaga wants Tryfacta to become a “20,000-employee company with over $3 billion in revenue.”

3. Optima Tax Relief

This Santa Ana, California-based tax services firm launched in 2011. Optima Tax Relief’s three-year revenue jumped more than 26,007 percent, to $33.6 million, from 2011 to 2014. Over that same period, its headcount grew to 302 from eight.

4. Castle Medical

Founded by Scott Damron in 2004, the Smyma, Georgia, workplace-drug and genetics tester Castle Medical grew its sales 25,485 percent, to $83.7 million, from 2011 to 2014.

5. Quick Bridge Funding

Co-founded in 2011 by Ben Gold and Jason Osiecki, the Irvine, California alternative lender credits its 24,138 percent three-year sales growth rate to its focus on transparency.

6. Drawbridge

The San Mateo, California, ad tech firm gives brands insight into online and offline consumer behavior. The five-year-old company, founded by Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, saw its revenue jump 23,484 percent, to $32.9 million, from 2011 to 2014.

7. StartApp

Gil Dudkiewicz founded the mobile advertising platform for developers in 2008. The New York City firm notched $37.1 million in sales in 2014, up 22,036 percent from 2011.

8. Restore Health

Matt Wanderer’s seven-year-old company, based in Madison, Wisconsin, offers personalized medicines to physicians and patients. Restore Health posted $30.5 million in sales last year, a 21,753 percent growth rate from 2011.

9. Scopely

Co-founded in 2011 by Walter Driver, Scopely publishes free-to-play games–and business is booming. The Culver City, California, company’s 2014 revenue reached $32.1 million, up more than 19,500 percent from 2011.


With $31 million in 2014 sales–an 18,888 percent hike since 2011–the social network founded by financial industry veteran Bill Wade easily cracked the 2015 Inc. 5000.

The 10 Fastest-Growing Companies in America

Growth Matters

One of the biggest advantages emerging markets have offered investors is a strong growth story: Over the past decade, growth in emerging markets has outpaced growth in developed markets by more than double. Growth in gross domestic product (GDP) looks like it will continue to outperform that of developed markets for at least the next five years, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund. 

While it’s true that growth and stock market performance can be divergent at times, there is no question that growth matters since company earnings depend on general economic growth.

Growth Matters

The 10 Fastest-Growing Companies in Houston

They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and even small business is no exception.

Here’s’s list of the top 10 fastest-growing companies in the area:

1. PPT Fiberglass
2. EPI Engineering
3. Southern Green Builders
4. Team Trident
5. Cimation
6. Chief Outsiders
7. Cradle Solution
8. Security America Mortgage
9. Noah Consulting
10. Worldwide Power Products

The 10 Fastest-Growing Companies in Houston

The World’s Most Innovative Companies

The World’s Most Innovative Companies is the definitive ranking of the 100 firms investors think are most likely to generate big, new growth ideas.

The World’s Most Innovative Companies

American Firms Dream of Growth but Invest in Efficiency – Matt Reilly – Harvard Business Review

American Firms Dream of Growth but Invest in Efficiency – Matt Reilly – Harvard Business Review.


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