The microstructure within your bones changes and adapts to your daily activities.

There are two types of cells involved in bone maintenance.

  1. OsteoBLASTS (they lay down new bone)
  2. OsteoCLASTS (they degrade old bone).

It is thought that we have a ‘new’ skeleton every 7 years thanks to the team work of the osteocytes!

You Can’t Eat That!

When functioning normally, osteocytes follow certain rules that stop the osteoblasts from building endless bone or the osteoclasts from eating all our bones. This maintains balance. Osteoclasts can’t eat bone that is “piezo-electrically charged” (or mechanically stressed).

Areas of bone that experience large amounts of mechanical stress (e.g. when the muscles pull on them to move them) become more dense as the osteoclasts can’t break down bone cells, but the osteoblasts continue to create new bone.

An Example

(Credit to Anatomy Trains)

During summer camp, dancers’ feet become tougher and their bones become denser due to the increased mechanical force.

Astronauts have to follow an intensive rehab program on their return to earth because the lack of gravity deprives the bones of the mechanical force that suppresses the action of the osteoclasts. The osteoclasts continue to break down bone and the bones become porous.

Clearly, this implies that exercise is useful in the prevention and management of diseases such as osteoporosis, but of course you should consult with your GP or specialist before beginning a new exercise program.

Increased exercise can cause muscular tension and stress. A regular sports massage can help to manage this. Your therapist may also show you personalised stretches and exercises that promote good posture and muscle balance, and reduce your risk of injury. Get in touch at resetsportsmassage@btinternet.com or on 07858107595 to book!

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