Low Magnitude, High Frequency Mechanical Stimuli Are Anabolic And Osteogenic To Trabecular Bone In Children

Me: This study helps in showing that even at low magnitudes for mechanical loads, as long as it is of high frequency the trabecular bones can have an anabolic effect. This pushes the idea further to show that the high magnitudes for loading which I had proposed before may not be needed and may be easier to create such a bone loading device than previously believed.

Analysis & Interpretation:

It would seem that for just s short amount of time with even small magnitudes in bone loading we find that the bone mass density (BMD) can be increased in kids who are still developing. The only thing that seems to be very important is to make the loading have high frequency.  The researchers wanted to test the loading on both the proximal tibia and spinal vertebrate area for bone mass density changes. The results showed that it was effective.

Implications For Height Increase:

This shows that at least for developing children, changing their bone density from low , which indicates bone fragileness, to high which would indicate strength and like chance for fractures is rather easy and quick to do. So many physicians have worried about the fact that many of the height increasing methods we have looked at may be bad for bone density since they can decrease BMD leading to weaker bones. This shows that their overall worrying and concerns about the loss of bone density is not really valid. We saw from a few of the recent posts with looking at the effect of chronic starvation, illness, and inflammation that the band or area of band actually increases in bone density in a developing child’s bone when analyzed histologically, however the longitudinal gorwth rate becomes slightly stunted during that phase.This means that when we are looking at any height increase idea or method we would not need to worry too much about the loss or effect on bone density. Bone density can be rather easily increased with this type of low magnitude high frequency loading or from taking certain bone increasing pills like statin.

As always let’s remember that this type of loading is very similar to the LSJL idea with the effect being bone growth or bone increase. However we are not really looking for bone growth, but bone lengthening. That requires cartilage. This would slightly infer that the chance of using the LSJL in children with their growth plates intact might be effective in increasing the rate of their longitudinal growth of long bones, ie. make them taller.

From PubMed study link HERE

J Bone Miner Res. 2004 Mar;19(3):360-9. Epub 2004 Jan 27.

Low magnitude mechanical loading is osteogenic in children with disabling conditions.

Ward K, Alsop C, Caulton J, Rubin C, Adams J, Mughal Z.


Clinical Radiology, Imaging Science & Biomedical Engineering, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.


The osteogenic potential of short durations of low-level mechanical stimuli was examined in children with disabling conditions. The mean change in tibia vTBMD was +6.3% in the intervention group compared with -11.9% in the control group. This pilot randomized controlled trial provides preliminary evidence that low-level mechanical stimuli represent a noninvasive, non-pharmacological treatment of low BMD in children with disabling conditions.


Recent animal studies have demonstrated the anabolic potential of low-magnitude, high-frequency mechanical stimuli to the trabecular bone of weight-bearing regions of the skeleton. The main aim of this prospective, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled pilot trial (RCT) was to examine whether these signals could effectively increase tibial and spinal volumetric trabecular BMD (vTBMD; mg/ml) in children with disabling conditions.


Twenty pre-or postpubertal disabled, ambulant, children (14 males, 6 females; mean age, 9.1 +/- 4.3 years; range, 4-19 years) were randomized to standing on active (n = 10; 0.3g, 90 Hz) or placebo (n = 10) devices for 10 minutes/day, 5 days/week for 6 months. The primary outcomes of the trial were proximal tibial and spinal (L2) vTBMD (mg/ml), measured using 3-D QCT. Posthoc analyses were performed to determine whether the treatment had an effect on diaphyseal cortical bone and muscle parameters.


Compliance was 44% (4.4 minutes per day), as determined by mean time on treatment (567.9 minutes) compared with expected time on treatment over the 6 months (1300 minutes). After 6 months, the mean change in proximal tibial vTBMD in children who stood on active devices was 6.27 mg/ml (+6.3%); in children who stood on placebo devices, vTBMD decreased by -9.45 mg/ml (-11.9%). Thus, the net benefit of treatment was +15.72 mg/ml (17.7%; p = 0.0033). In the spine, the net benefit of treatment, compared with placebo, was +6.72 mg/ml, (p = 0.14). Diaphyseal bone and muscle parameters did not show a response to treatment. The results of this pilot RCT have shown for the first time that low-magnitude, high-frequency mechanical stimuli are anabolic to trabecular bone in children, possibly by providing a surrogate for suppressed muscular activity in the disabled. Over the course of a longer treatment period, harnessing bone’s sensitivity to these stimuli may provide a non-pharmacological treatment for bone fragility in children.

PMID: 15040823    [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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