Competitive trampolining influences trabecular bone structure, bone size, and bone strength

J Sport Health Sci. 2016 Dec;5(4):469-475. doi: 10.1016/j.jshs.2015.01.007. Epub 2015 Apr 30.


Background: Trampolining is a form of gymnastics that has increased in popularity over the last decade and due to its concurrence with the formative years of bone development, it may have an important impact on bone health. However, bone density, microarchitecture, and bone strength of competitive trampolinists have not been explored. Therefore, the purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the relationship between trampolining participation and (1) bone density, area, and microarchitecture; and (2) estimated bone strength and the role of muscle and impact loading in young female adults.

Methods: We recruited 29 female participants aged 16-29 years for this study (n = 14 trampolinists; n = 15 controls). Skeletal parameters were assessed using dual X-ray absorptiometry, high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT), and finite element analysis (FEA). Muscle strength was measured using dynamometers.

Results: Trampolinists had higher bone density at the hip and spine, greater trabecular density and thicker trabeculae at the tibia, as well as larger bones at both the tibia and radius than controls (p < 0.05). Trampolinists also had higher muscle strength than controls at the lower body with no difference between groups in the upper body. Estimates of bone strength using FEA were greater for trampolinists than controls at both the radius and tibia.

Conclusion: This is the first study to investigate bone density, area, and microarchitecture in female trampolinists using HR-pQCT. Trampolinists had greater bone density, area, microarchitecture, and estimated bone strength than controls.

Keywords: Dual X-ray absorptiometry; Finite element analysis; Gymnastics; High-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography; Muscle strength; Trampolining.