New Research Looks into Bone-building Benefits of Mechanical Force

Posted on Dec 11 2012 at 07:30:23 AM in Medicine

New Research Looks into Bone-building Benefits of Mechanical Force

Determining the best means to build and maintain bone health has been the subject of contention in the scientific community, medical experts claim, especially about how it relates to treating osteoporosis. If a standard treatment method could be developed, it might allow people diagnosed with osteoporosis to forego the hazardous side effects of medical treatment. The potential complications from bisphosphonate treatment remained very serious, which have even led to class action lawsuits over drugs like Fosamax.

The initial research on this concept was first tested on animals and exhibited encouraging results. Testing on animals showed gradual but well-defined changes in their bone structure with concerted application of forces, say study authors. The ultimate goal is to understand the mechanisms by which this effect occurs and consistently applying that to interventions based on physical-activity in order to improve bone health, prevent fractures, and prevent or treat osteoporosis.

Medical researchers are currently attempting to replicate the same results in human beings from the animal drug trials. A new study being performed at the Chicago College of Applied Health Sciences in the University of Illinois will follow women who apply force to the radius, one of the larger bones in the forearm, by pressing their hand onto an apparatus that measures the force and speed of the pressure.

Another study will test how bone adapts to varying forces. One group will apply light pressure and the other will use heavy pressure to see if there is a different response in bone changes, such as, greater bone density growth.

Changes in bone formation will be monitored by using quantitative computerized tomography. The study will last for one year applying the treatments, and another year to how the test subjects retain any changes. The research model may even have to change later in the study to reflect other key factors that might be relevant to accurately compiling the study’s results, such as, variances in exercise habits, relative age, pre-existing health conditions, and even dietary habits. The study authors hope to determine what type of physical activity is most beneficial to strengthening and maintaining bone growth. Ultimately, their long-term goal is to develop a personalized physical activity intervention plan that would specifically target bone health in order to treat and or even prevent osteoporosis and fractures.


Research into osteoporosis treatments are constantly expanding in an effort to find the most effective and cost efficient therapy to be made available. This chronic condition affects millions around the world and, so far, there appears to be no standardized concensus on what the best treatment is for preventing and curing this debilitating disease that can lead to life-threatening fractures. Learn more about osteoporosis, latest medical research, and lawsuit updates on the Fosamax class action lawsuit information center on


  Article Information
Created: Dec 11 2012 at 07:30:23 AM
Updated: Dec 11 2012 at 09:33:48 AM
Category: Medicine
Language: English