Place of Publication
Joyce, D., & Lewindon, D.
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Bone is the most resilient tissue in the human body and under normal conditions remains highly resistant to injury. It is extremely adaptable to athletic loads, and with an understanding of how it adapts, and the mechanical underpinnings of how loading magnitude and frequency affects, we can begin to understand the mechanisms of bone injury and rehabilitation.
Bone tissue is continuously being broken down and renewed, and when the delicate balance of bone breakdown and bone synthesis is upset, it can start to fail under a seemingly normal load. This type of bone failure is in contrast to those that result from acute high-load impacts.
The bone breakdown-synthesis balance is particularly susceptible to large increases in the volume of mechanical loads without appropriate periods of rest, resulting in bone stress that can progress to failure. This is just one example of how the bone balance can be upset. The complex nature of chronic bone stress and injury will be the focus of this chapter.