Back Issues at a Young Age


Q: Did i stunt my growth?
I used to be somewhat tall for my age when I was in middle school but throughout high school I became really short compared to other guys. From 14 years old to 20 years old I only went from 5'4 - 5'6, however during this time I was having back problems that was hurting on and off but not really painful. I thought it was because I wasn't stretching enough but that wasn't the case because when i did start to stretch often, I was still having the same back problems. When I stand my left knee bends a little, one of my shoulders is a little longer than the other, I sometimes walk like a penguin, my back hurts if I bend down for a while, and body has more pressure on one side. Just recently I looked up symptoms on the internet similar to what I have and scoliosis was a perfect match, however I was wrong. My dad's friend is studying physical therapy and came to my house. He came to my house and I had to do a series of test. he told me my spine was straight and didn't have scoliosis but i might pulled, strained or injured my rhomboids. If I did injure my rhomboids, is there a way to fix that and could that be the reason why I am short and may have stunted my growth?

Symptoms:  Slouching, muscle pulled, short height, longer shoulder, knee more bent that the other., walking like a penguin, pain after bending for a long time.

A:   Hello
Thank you posting your health query on “Ask the Doctor”.
It is possible that any abnormal muscle pull can slow down growth.
However, it appears from your history that you have some orthopedic ailment leading to deviated gait while walking.
It may be due to unequal length of the lower extremity or weakness in the knee or hip joint that is giving you a feeling of scoliosis which is owing to counter position adopted by the upper body to adopt stature.
The reason for as you were telling about your unequal shoulder also suggest the same.
It appears the problem lies in your hip or knee joint or length of bones in lower extremity forcing your back to maintain posture hence you feel back muscle pull.
You are advised to consult an orthopedic doctor for same.

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