Research suggests that exercise stimulates muscle growth, but did you know that your BONES respond to exercise as well? It is commonly believed that exercise creates mechanical forces that cause deformations of specific regions of the skeleton, that ultimately result in bending or compression on the bone. These forces stimulate new bone growth, resulting in an increase in the diameter and strength of the bone. Therefore it is believed that an increase in muscle strength may result in a corresponding increase in bone mineral density.
Why does bone mineral density (BMD) matter?
Osteoporosis is a clinical condition that is characterized by low bone mass and an increased susceptibility to fractures. Inactivity or immobilization results in a rapid rate of loss of bone mineral density, and research suggests that resistance-trained individuals have higher bone mineral density than sedentary individuals. When a bone becomes less dense, it becomes less resistant against both traumatic or stress fractures. Stress fractures are characterized by microfractures in bone due to structural fatigue. Whereas traumatic fractures are characterized by damage to the bone via a large external force, usually a fall. Bone that has higher BMD is more likely to be resistant to structural damage.
How can I improve my bone mineral (BMD) density?
- Use exercise load and volume that promote progressive overload. Bone responds favorably to loading, and by gradually placing greater than normal demands on the exercising musculature, this applies to improving bone strength.
- Use exercises that target many muscle groups at once such as squats, deadlifts, chest press etc.
- Vary exercise selection in order to continually present a unique stimulus for new bone formation.
- Use proper exercise technique to ensure that you are loading the tissues appropriately and not predisposing yourself for injury as you progressively overload
See our video for a full explanation of bony adaptations and tips for improving your bone mineral density. If you have any additional questions, please contact us at Balance Physical Therapy. We have locations throughout the Central Coast, including Salinas, Ryan Ranch, Prunedale, and Monterey. We offer a wide variety of services to help decrease pain, improve strength and mobility, and optimize overall function. All of our highly trained clinicians will be able to provide you with an individualized program in order to meet your goals and improve your quality of life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.