In this prospective, controlled study, the effects of weight bearing and aquatic exercises on the calcaneal ultrasonic scores of postmenopausal sedentary women was investigated.
A total of 62 postmenopausal sedentary women (mean age, 54.1 +/- 7 yrs) with broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) T-score variables less than -1 were admitted to Ataturk Balneotherapy and Rehabilitation Center and randomized into aquatic exercise (n = 21), weight-bearing exercise (n = 21), and control (n = 20) groups. The subjects were told to perform the aerobic exercises according to the Borg scale. Quantitative ultrasound variables, BUA, and speed of ultrasound were evaluated after the 6-mo training study.
Calcaneal BUA increased in aquatic exercise and weight-bearing exercise groups by 3.1% and 4.2% (P < 0.05, P < 0.05) respectively. There was a decrease in BUA by 1.3% in the control group (P > 0.05). Speed of ultrasound did not change in the aquatic exercise, weight-bearing exercise, or the control groups. There were no statistically significant differences between the exercise groups for BUA and speed of ultrasound. The percentage changes in the aquatic exercise and weight-bearing exercise groups were statistically significant when compared with the control group for BUA (P < 0.01, P < 0.01) and speed of ultrasound (P < 0.05, P < 0.05).
Although weight-bearing physical activity is known to be superior to non-weight-bearing activity to increase the bone mass, our present evidence shows that aquatic and weight-bearing exercises both can increase calcaneal BUA.