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Side-to-side differences in bone strength in master jumpers and sprinters

Ireland, A, Korhonen, M, Heinonen, A, Suominen, H, Baur, C, Stevens, S, Degens, H and Rittweger, J (2011) Side-to-side differences in bone strength in master jumpers and sprinters. Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions, 11. ISSN 1108-7161

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Abstract

Introduction: This study evaluated side-to-side difference in tibial bone structure, calf muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) and hopping force in master athletes as a result of training for sports with different magnitudes of inter-leg loading difference. Methods: Tibial bone parameters (at 4%, 14%, 38% and 66% tibial length proximal to distal end), muscle CSA (at 66% tibial length) and hopping forces of both legs of 51 master athletes (conditioned jumpers, conditioned triple jumpers, unconditioned jumpers, hurdlers and sprinters) were examined using pQCT. In epiphyseal 4% slice bone CSA (Ar.tot), total BMC (vBMC.tot), trabecular BMC (vBMC.tb) cortical BMC (vBMC.ct), and trabecular BMD (vBMD.tb) were measured. In diaphyseal slices, Ar.tot, vBMC.ct, cortical density (vBMD.ct), cross-sectional moment of inertia (CSMI) and calf muscle CSA (MuscA) were examined. Results: In conditioned jumpers, side-to-side differences in favour of take-off leg were found in 4% slice in vBMC.tb (+4.1%) (P<0.05). A side-to-side difference was found in 66% slice vBMC.ct and CSMI (both P<0.05), with conditioned jumper (+2.8% and 6.6%) and triple jumper (+2.7% and 7.2%) values higher than other groups. Conclusion: The results suggest that regular training in highimpact sports with uneven lower limb loading results in side-to-side differences in skeletal adaptation independent of age and gender, suggesting that high-impact exercise is effective in maintaining bone strength throughout human lifespan.

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