Sustained skeletal benefit from childhood mechanical loading
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Preliminary prospective, longitudinal results suggest that pre-menarcheal exposure to artistic gymnastics is associated with greater radius BMC, aBMD, and projected area throughout growth and into early adulthood, more than 4 years after activity cessation. Any loss of benefit associated with de-training appears to be temporary.
Mechanical loading may enhance bone accrual during growth, but prospective evidence of benefit retention is limited. This prospective, longitudinal cohort study tests whether gymnastics is linked to distal radius advantages during growth and four or more years post-training cessation.
Semi-annually, female ex/gymnasts and non-gymnasts underwent height and weight measurements; questionnaires assessed calcium intake, physical activity, and maturation. Annual dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scans (Hologic QDR 4500W) measured total body fat-free mass, skull areal density (aBMD), and bone mineral content (BMC); forearm scans measured ultradistal and 1/3 radius area, BMC, and aBMD. Analysis inclusion criteria were: (1) achievement of gynecological age >4 years and (2) for gymnasts, >2 years of pre-menarcheal training (>6 h/week), ceasing between 0.5 year pre-menarche and 1 year post-menarche. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM v6.0) evaluated outcomes for ex/gymnasts versus non-gymnasts; a slope/intercept discontinuity evaluated de-training effects.
Data from 14 non-gymnasts and six ex/gymnasts represented outcomes from 4 years pre-menarche to 9 years post-menarche. All adjusted distal radius parameters were higher in ex/gymnasts than non-gymnasts (p < 0.02). Ultradistal BMC, ultradistal aBMD, and 1/3 aBMD temporarily decreased with gymnastic cessation (p < 0.04); ultradistal area, 1/3 area, and 1/3 BMC did not change significantly. Skull outcomes did not differ between groups or change with activity cessation.
Gymnastic exposure during childhood and early puberty is associated with greater radius bone mass, size, and aBMD. Despite brief de-training losses in density and mass, significant skeletal benefits are manifested throughout growth and at least 4 years beyond activity cessation into early adulthood.
- Gunter K, Baxter-Jones AD, Mirwald RL, Almstedt H, Fuchs RK, Durski S, Snow C (2008) Impact exercise increases BMC during growth: an 8-year longitudinal study. J Bone Miner Res 23:986–993 CrossRef
- Bass S, Pearce G, Bradney M, Hendrich E, Delmas PD, Harding A, Seeman E (1998) Exercise before puberty may confer residual benefits in bone density in adulthood: studies in active prepubertal and retired female gymnasts. J Bone Miner Res 13:500–507 CrossRef
- Kirchner EM, Lewis RD, O’Connor PJ (1996) Effect of past gymnastics participation on adult bone mass. J Appl Physiol 80:226–232 CrossRef
- Kudlac J, Nichols DL, Sanborn CF, DiMarco NM (2004) Impact of detraining on bone loss in former collegiate female gymnasts. Calcif Tissue Int 75:482–487 CrossRef
- Scerpella TA, Dowthwaite JN, Gero NM, Kanaley JA, Ploutz-Snyder RJ (2010) Skeletal benefits of pre-menarcheal gymnastics are retained after activity cessation. Pediatr Exerc Sci 22:21–33
- Eser P, Hill B, Ducher G, Bass S (2009) Skeletal benefits after long-term retirement in former elite female gymnasts. J Bone Miner Res 24:1981–1988 CrossRef
- Scerpella TA, Davenport M, Morganti CM, Kanaley JA, Johnson LM (2003) Dose related association of impact activity and bone mineral density in pre-pubertal girls. Calcif Tissue Int 72:24–31 CrossRef
- Liu X, Spybrook J, Congdon R, Martinez A, Raudenbush SW (2009) Optimal Design for Multi-level and Longitudinal Research, Version 2.0. HLM Software. http://www.wtgrantfoundation.org/resources/overview/research_tools. Accessed 31 August 2010
- Fuchs RK, Snow CM (2002) Gains in hip bone mass from high-impact training are maintained: a randomized controlled trial in children. J Pediatr 141:357–362 CrossRef
- Gunter K, Baxter-Jones AD, Mirwald RL, Almstedt H, Fuller A, Durski S, Snow C (2008) Jump starting skeletal health: a 4-year longitudinal study assessing the effects of jumping on skeletal development in pre and circum pubertal children. Bone 42:710–718 CrossRef
- Zanker CL, Gannon L, Cooke CB, Gee KL, Oldroyd B, Truscott JG (2003) Differences in bone density, body composition, physical activity, and diet between child gymnasts and untrained children 7–8 years of age. J Bone Miner Res 18:1043–1050 CrossRef
- Pollock NK, Laing EM, Modlesky CM, O’Connor PJ, Lewis RD (2006) Former college artistic gymnasts maintain higher BMD: a nine-year follow-up. Osteoporos Int 17:1691–1697 CrossRef
- Dowthwaite JN, Flowers PP, Spadaro JA, Scerpella TA (2007) Bone geometry, density, and strength indices of the distal radius reflect loading via childhood gymnastic activity. J Clin Densitom 10:65–75 CrossRef
- Dowthwaite JN, Scerpella TA (2010) Distal radius geometry and skeletal strength indices after peri-pubertal artistic gymnastics. Osteoporos Int (in press)
- Dyson K, Blimkie CJ, Davison KS, Webber CE, Adachi JD (1997) Gymnastic training and bone density in pre-adolescent females. Med Sci Sports Exerc 29:443–450
- Ward KA, Roberts SA, Adams JE, Mughal MZ (2005) Bone geometry and density in the skeleton of pre-pubertal gymnasts and school children. Bone 36:1012–1018 CrossRef
- Courteix D, Lespessailles E, Obert P, Benhamou CL (1999) Skull bone mass deficit in prepubertal highly-trained gymnast girls. Int J Sports Med 20:328–333 CrossRef
- Sustained skeletal benefit from childhood mechanical loading
Volume 22, Issue 7 , pp 2205-2210
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- Mechanical loading
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, University of Wisconsin, 1685 Highland Avenue, 6th Floor, Madison, WI, 53705-2281, USA
- 2. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Institute for Human Performance, 505 Irving Avenue, Syracuse, NY, 13210, USA
- 3. Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Institute for Human Performance, 505 Irving Avenue, Syracuse, NY, 13210, USA