Semin Musculoskelet Radiol 2020; 24(03): 277-289
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1709483
Review Article

Sports and Metabolic Bone Disease

1  Department of Radiology, Auckland City Hospital Auckland, New Zealand
2  Department of Radiology, Hospital Vithas Nueve de Octubre, Valencia, Spain
Claudia Weidekamm
3  Department of Radiology, Northshore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
Francisco Aparisi
2  Department of Radiology, Hospital Vithas Nueve de Octubre, Valencia, Spain
Alberto Bazzocchi
4  Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy
› Author Affiliations


Physical activity (PA) increases bone mass and bone strength through different mechanisms and also reduces the risk of falls in the elderly, through proprioception and balance training. The benefits seen in adolescence continue into adulthood. Exercise delays and attenuates the effects of osteoporosis, and particular sports activities may be recommended to improve bone mineral density (BMD) of the spine or regional BMD, improve balance, and prevent falls. Stress injuries related to exercise are more common in osteopenic and osteoporotic individuals.

Sports activity may in some cases be detrimental for bone health, with nutrition restriction a frequent cause for negative effects of the practice of PA on bone. The examples are the so-called female athlete triad of menstrual dysfunction resulting in reduced estrogen levels, low energy due to malnutrition, and decreased BMD. A similar triad is described in male athletes. This review analyzes the effects of sport on bone metabolism and in particular its relationship with metabolic bone disease.

Publication History

Publication Date:
28 September 2020 (online)

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