Friday 7 December 2018

Bone remodelling

One aspect about the skeleton that most people seem to be unaware of is that bones are continually in a process of remodelling, which is were old bone is broken down by specialist bone cells called osteoclasts and reabsorbed by the body and new bone formed by bone cells called osteoblasts.

When this formation is faster than the rate of resorption, such as in young people, bone's become larger, heavier and more dense. After a person reaches their thirties the process starts to slow down, and the body starts to break down more bone than it forms, which can result in conditions such as osteoporosis.

It is possible to slow down the rate of bone breakdown in later years. Weight-bearing exercise, in otherwords any exercise that puts stress on the skeletal system, is vital in encouraging new bone growth. This includes walking. That is why sitting down especially in old age hastens the decline in skeletal health: it is not being stressed enough to be encouraged to try and maintain or form more bone.

Another key factor of remodelling is that it also tends to follow the lines of stress that have been placed upon the bones. What this means is that someones habitual posture and exercise technique can greatly affect this process, and if they are quite poor, then this can lead to the reinforcing of poor posture that becomes harder to alter until the remodelling process adapts to a correcting stress.

Articles within this series

Lyle Richardson,
Gym Pal - Your Friend In Fitness


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