Lateral Synovial Joint Loading Explained In Simple English
Update Dec 30,2013: I wanted to bring this post back up for people who are thinking about trying the method out for the first time. Some of the directions given on the first website is hard to follow. This post was originally written back in Aug of 2012 and I wanted to see if this post would still be of high value even more than a year later.
I knew one day I would have to do a review, or summary on this method/technique because I know that no real or legitimate height increase website would be complete without this technique. Now, this idea is very well substantiated with the science behind the physiology and anatomy of at least mouse bodies. When it comes to humans, it is still very iffy. Tyler from HeightQuest.Com is the person who has been promoting this method for at least 2 years and the results seem to be that he grew from 5’9′ to 5’10” (Note: Jimmy, a reader of this site from the US has informed me that Tyler’s actual height increase was from 5′ 8.5″ – 5′ 10″. Edit made). If I was to play devil’s advocate, I would say that Tyler could have gotten that kind of height increase through some basic stretching and maybe yoga. Now that is not a lot but it is substantial enough to show that the technique can work.
This method would be the most simple, and cost effective way to gain real extra height. I would probably endorse and promote this method along with one other possible method, the Qigong one, which I have talked about extensively before and you can read about HERE (Part I) and HERE (Part II). The blog and website seems to be created from a person who is truly sincere and not trying to sell anything or trick anyone. However, even the qigong method goes into the area of pseudoscience and mysticism which some people would not consider or don’t believe in. If that is the case, this may be the only reasonable option.
It has taken me 2 entire days and at least 12 hours of reading, learning, and researching mostly unknown medical terms to figure out what Tyler is talking about. The biggest help was reading up on Yokota’s Joint Loading Modality which I had written a very short review and analysis on HERE. The main article and link I read were these on his site and I managed to piece everything together into a very user friendly method. It will be explained as simple as possible.
Note: This article due to the nature of the method will most likely be altered and changed over time to fit with new information and scientific studies. If Tyler sees any point or place I have made an error in logic or methodology, please tell me so I can fix it. If you have read this and still don’t understand what to do, email me and I will either try to answer your question or edit this article/ post to make it easier to understand for people.
Note 2: I have never fully understood why the fibula is never mentioned. I haven’t figured out the growth or ossification process of the fibula, and whether if you just stretch the tibia, the fibula will stretch along with it.
So the height increase method or technique is called Lateral Synovial Joint Loading. In laymen’s term that just means you find ways to compress or push a certain area of your leg with enough force and maybe also at the right speed or rate (aka frequency).
I will break up this method into 5 parts, Location, Equipment, Amount of Force And Freqency, Supplements, Theory .
I am just going to talk about the most common synovial joint right now. That is the one for the lower leg, the tibia.
The exact location on your body you are supposed to compress/push is the area in the upper part of your lower leg, right below the knee area. If you just read the name of the method Lateral Synovial Joint Loading, you can guess that the method involves putting some load (aka compressing down on) on the synovial joint of the lower leg bone in a lateral (aka side) direction. The picture on the right shows where the synovial joints are. The exact location is actually two places. You want to compress the bone with some form of clamp (or flat stiff surface and weight) so one part of the clamp goes on one side of the upper tibia and the other side of the clamp goes on the other side. The exact location or spot is on the location for the picture of the right just maybe 0.75-1.25 inches under where your patella (aka knee cap) is located, assuming you are a normal sized person (5 ft- 6 ft). Note the arrows that say “lateral meniscus” and medial meniscus”. The clamps must go just below (maybe .25-0.5 inches) the regions labeled lateral meniscus and medial meniscus. The area of the leg to apply the clamp should be from the side, not front and back.
One of the things you have to learn and understand is the terms of the parts of the long bones, specifically the femur, tibia, humerus, and maybe the ulna. The epiphysis is the protruding ends of the long bone while the diaphysis is the middle part that is more cylindrical and thinner. The epiphysis is what must be compressed, from the sides, both left and right. Remember that the real location of the places to clamp or compress is usually where you can feel on your leg or arm that is protruding out, which is not surrounded by too much muscle or ligaments. That means that you can push down on it without hurting your ligaments or muscles that much.
You have to clamp down on the bone. Since bone is a very hard material, your hands and arm strength will not be sufficient to cause real bone deformation (unless you are either extremely strong with your hand or you suffer from weak bones). The equipment talked about by Tyler is a C- clamp. From Home Depot or any hardware store, it could cost you around $15-20. If you have ever worked in a chemistry lab or any type of lab where you need to hold something in place ,you know what a clamp is. If you don’t, refer to the picture on your right. Using a clamp is probably the cheapest option you have, which probably would do the work. For the experiment done on the mice, the equipment to subject limb size ratio was far bigger, but I don’t know where we could find some other bigger clamp at a reasonable price.
There is really at least 10 places where there are synovial joints you can compress at, the wrist area, right below the elbow area, the location right above your your knee cap, the location right below your knee cap, and your ankle area, and the thickness and morphology of the joints require that you will need more than just one type of clamp. For the wrists and ankles, you can use a smaller clamp, like a mini clamp. The cost to buy a mini clamp from Lowe’s or Home Depot can be as cheap as $10-15
3. Amount of Force and Frequency
There is two types of equipment I had talked about, clamps and dumbbells/weights.
With clamps, you have to find out where the location you should compress on. Once you find it, you put the clamp ends on the right location and turn the lever until you feel the bone underneath the skin deform a little. There is no quantified I can give at this moment. The only thing is that if you found the right place, the clamps compressing down should not hurt that much since you are only hitting bone (there will be some pain because you are pushing also against some skin). So, turn the lever of the clamp until you feel that the epiphysis has reached some level of deformation. For the experiments done of mice forearm ulna, it took very little force and a small frequency only a show time to see results. Clamp down for at least 30 seconds up to 75 seconds, 1-2 times everyday. Repeat the step for 3-5 consecutive days. It is okay to not do the exercise 1-2 (non consecutive) days of the week to let the bones heal themselves.
With weights, on Tyler’s blog he uses weight or dumbbells up to 60 lb to 75 lb as the compressing force. You are supposed to take the head of the dumbbell and weights and push them down on your synovial joint epiphysis (whether it is knee, wrist, ankle, elbow) while the long bone is layer down flat on the hard firm ground or another firm surface that won’t move. With your knees, you can that only by sitting down in a lotus position with the leg you want to compress the one actually laying on the ground (with your other leg you can put on top of the other one or something else). Hold the dumbbell handle and lay it on the right place (the synovial joint) and push down for at least 30 seconds up to 75 seconds, 1-2 times everyday. Repeat the step for 3-5 consecutive days. It is okay to not do the exercise 1-2 (non consecutive) days of the week to let the bones heal themselves. Then repeat the process.
The only two supplements that have been consistently talked about in height increase forums and discussions are Calcium with Vitamin D and Glucosamine with Chondroitin. The Calcium with Vitamin D is used to make the matrix of the bone cell (osteon) within the cortical bone part stronger. The Glucosamine with Chondroitin is to somehow help with preventing cartilage degeneration. I still haven’t figure out how the glucosamine with chondroitin exactly prevents cartilage degeneration but for the cost of say $30 for the Calcium with Vitamin D and $30 for the Glucosamine with Chondroition, I would say it is worth it for you to buy and take in your endeavor to increase your height. The supplements are safe so “why not?” I say.
Update: After finding another article on HeightQuest.Com entitled “Lateral Synovial Joint Loading Supplement Guide” I realize that the list of supplements I had put up previously (only talking about Calcium w/ Vitamin D & Glucosamine w/ Chondroitin) is severely lacking and a much better and more complete listing of supplements can be found from Tyler’s site if you click on the link above. Sorry about that.
Note: You do have to learn some medical (specifically orthopedic) terminology to understand the theory behind the method.
I am going to try to make the theory as simple as possible. First let’s define the name “Lateral Synovial Joint Loading”.
“Lateral” means side. “Loading” means a pushing on, or applying force to. So “lateral loading” is means putting a force on from the side direction. If you take the palm of your hand and push the side of a tower of jenga blocks to make it fall down, you applied a “lateral loading” or “pushed it on from the side”. “synovial joint” is the most common form of joint in your body. There are 7 types of synovial cavity but the what makes a synovial joint a synovial joint is that all synovial joints have 3 main things (1. Synovial cavity, 2. Articular Capsule, 3. Articular Cartilage). The components and functions are not important to know at this time. You just have to know which joint in our human body are synovial joints. The elbow, knee, wrist, and ankle are all synovial joints. Thus, the term “lateral synovial joint loading” means to apply a force from the side on to either the elbow, knee, wrist, or ankle at a very specific position.
The specific position or location you have to apply a load (push upon) to is the epiphysis of the long bone. The Epiphysis is the protruding ends of the long bone, while the thinner middle part is called the Diaphysis. If you need a picture of what they look like look to the picture on the right (I know the picture is Copyrighted but until someone contacts me and tells me I can’t use it anymore, I’ll keep it up). The line that separates the epiphysis from the diaphysis is roughly where the growth plates used to be and fused at are. Inside the diaphysis and running into the epiphysis is this hollow area called the Medullary Cavity. This cavity is where the bone marrow lies and also where adult stem cells can be found. It is also also filled with interstitial fluid. The interstitial fluid is held inside the bone and that creates hydrostatic pressure pushing against the inner wall of the bone. (If you have ever taken a college class in fluid mechanic you understand what I am talking about).
The other thing you should understand is what the growth plates are made out of. The growth plates or epiphyseal plates were a type of cartilage called hyaline and made of mostly of collagen. The hyaline cartilage matrix is mostly made up of type II collagen and Chondroitin sulfate. If the cartilage is examined under the microscope, it will be found to consist of cells of a rounded or bluntly angular form, lying in groups of two or more in a granular or almost homogeneous matrix. The cells are called chondrocytes. It is the chondrocytes that really causes bone lengthen (thus height increase) and are what multiply through process called mitosis. The chondrocytes still alive go through mitosis and a part of the resulting chondrocytes change in form and function (aka differentiate) by ossification and degeneration into bone material by osteoblasts (bone cell units) and a part of the chondrocytes available keep on going through mitosis. The old chondrocytes develop on the diaphysis side to increase the length of the long bone while the new chondrocytes on the epiphysis side keep on going through mitosis to create more.
What the method of Lateral Synovial Joint Loading does is that by applying a certain amount of compressive force from the side on the ends of the long bone (aka the epiphysis), this forces 2 main reactions or processes to occur.
1. The compression causes the interstitial fluid inside to increase in flow downwards into the diaphysis and also causing the hydrostatic pressure in the hollow cavity in the bone to increase. Since we are pushing on the bone, the cavity should get smaller so the pressure inside should increase. This increase to hydrostatic pressure is theorized to increase or assist the stem cells to turn into chondrocytes (aka differentiation).
2. This causes the stem cells in the bone marrow in the medullary cavity to turn themselves into chondrocytes. The newly formed chondrocytes can then more readily go through the process of mitosis and endochondral ossification, which would lead to long bone lengthen, leading to height increase.
Note: I still can’t figure out just how the already existing stiff and strong cortical bones of in the diaphysis or epiphysis will fracture (aka go through distraction) to even allow the newly formed condrocytes to go through their natural processes. I would guess that a compressed epiphysis that leads to newly formed chondrocytes would only build on the inner wall of the medullary cavity and thicken the layer of cancellous bone inside the outer cortical bone shell.