Wolff's Law - Examples


  • The racquet-holding arm bones of tennis players become much stronger than those of the other arm. Their bodies have strengthened the bones in their racquet-holding arm since it is routinely placed under higher than normal stresses. The most critical loads on a tennis player's arms occur during the serve. There are four main phases of a tennis serve and the highest loads occur during external shoulder rotation and ball impact. The combination of high load and arm rotation result in a twisted bone density profile.
  • Surfers who knee-paddle frequently will develop bone bumps, also known as exostoses, on the tibial eminence and the dorsal part of the navicular tarsal bone from the pressure of the surfboard's surface. These are often called surf knots
  • Astronauts who spend a long time in space will often return to Earth with weaker bones, since gravity has been greatly diminished and therefore has exerted little force on their bodies.
  • Weightlifters often display increases in bone density in response to their training.
  • Martial artists who strike objects with increasing intensity (e.g., repeated elbow strikes), display increases in bone density in the striking area. This process is termed cortical remodeling.
  • The Humerus bones of old Aleut burials, when uncovered by archeologists, are exceptionally thick and rugose, due to prolonged rowing of Baidarkas.

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