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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology

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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 December;56(12):1503-10


language: English

Effect of sport training on forearm bone sites in female handball and soccer players

Arben BOSHNJAKU 1, Ivan DIMAURO 2, Ermira KRASNIQI 3, Elisa GRAZIOLI 2, Harald TSCHAN 4, Silvia MIGLIACCIO 2, Luigi DI LUIGI 2, Daniela CAPOROSSI 2

1 Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Pristina, Pristina, Kosovo; 2 Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, “Foro Italico” University, Rome, Italy; 3 Faculty of Technical Medical Sciences, Medical University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania; 4 Department of Sports and Exercise Physiology, Institute of Sports Science, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria


BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to evaluate the bone mineral density (BMD) and Z-score of a skeletal region, considered as weight-bearing site in trained handball players (HP), but as non-weight-bearing site in trained soccer players (SP). The bone health status of the same site was also analyzed in an untrained group (CG).
METHODS: BMD and Z-score at distal forearm regions (dominant, D; non-dominant, ND) were evaluated in 30 female HP and in 30 female SP, who have been training for 7.7±3.8 years, 17 hours per week, as well as in 30 females CG.
RESULTS: Playing handball was associated with higher BMD of the skeleton at both measured sites than in CG. Also in comparison with SP, HPs’ arms showed a significant increase in BMD. On the other hand, female SP have been reported to exhibit an enhanced ND arm BMD compared with controls. The benefits of exercise appeared to be significantly improved only in SP sub-group who started sport activity before or at menarche. These athletes showed at ND forearm a BMD 4% greater than those SP who started later, reaching a BMD of 11.6% higher than CG, a value similar to the corresponding in HP sub-group. Moreover, their D arm BMD was 7.1% higher compared with CG.
CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that, compared with non-trained subjects, long-term high-impact sport participation is associated with an higher bone health state, especially if the playing careers were started before or at menarche. This effect was observed at level of both forearms in HP, which are considered as weight-bearing sites for this discipline but also on the same skeletal regions of SP, which are not directly loaded by sport-related regular training.

KEY WORDS: Weight-bearing - Resistance training - Bone density - Menarche

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Publication History

Issue published online: December 12, 2016
Article first published online: November 26, 2015
Manuscript accepted: November 25, 2015
Manuscript revised: October 30, 2015
Manuscript received: June 23, 2015

Cite this article as

Boshnjaku A, Dimauro I, Krasniqi E, Grazioli E, Tschan H, Migliaccio S, et al. Effect of sport training on forearm bone sites in female handball and soccer players. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2016;56:1503-10

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