J Bone Metab.  2021 Nov;28(4):253-265. 10.11005/jbm.2021.28.4.253.

Effects of Different Types of Mechanical Loading on Trabecular Bone Microarchitecture in Rats

  • 1Department of Health and Sports Sciences, Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare, Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan
  • 2Department of Nuclear Medicine, Kawasaki Medical School, Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan


Mechanical loading is generally considered to have a positive impact on the skeleton; however, not all types of mechanical loading have the same beneficial effect. Many researchers have investigated which types of mechanical loading are more effective for improving bone mass and strength. Among the various mechanical loads, high-impact loading, such as jumping, appears to be more beneficial for bones than low-impact loadings such as walking, running, or swimming. Therefore, the different forms of mechanical loading exerted by running, swimming, and jumping exercises may have different effects on bone adaptations. However, little is known about the relationships between the types of mechanical loading and their effects on trabecular bone structure. The purpose of this article is to review the recent reports on the effects of treadmill running, jumping, and swimming on the trabecular bone microarchitecture in small animals. The effects of loading on trabecular bone architecture appear to differ among these different exercises, as several reports have shown that jumping increases the trabecular bone mass by thickening the trabeculae, whereas treadmill running and swimming add to the trabecular bone mass by increasing the trabecular number, rather than the thickness. This suggests that different types of exercise promote gains in trabecular bone mass through different architectural patterns in small animals.


Cancellous bone · Jumping · Rats · Running · Swimming
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