Does Soccer Strengthen Bones of Men with Prostate Cancer?

Logos 005A new study published in Osteoporosis International and European Journal of Applied Physiology concluded that men with prostate cancer run the risk of brittle bones as a result of their treatment but football training a few times a week counters many of the effects of the treatment. They say that being challenged by an opponent, changing direction, kicking and blocking the ball provides a wide range of stimuli to the bone tissue making them stronger. They add that soccer training isĀ  not just good for the heart and muscles but also strengthens the bones because of the running around the pitch, jumping, accelerating, braking and kicking the ball.

In the study 57 men aged between 43 and 75, with an average age of 67 participated. All were receiving treatment for prostate cancer. After drawing lots the participants were divided into a soccer training group and a control group. The soccer group trained 2 to 3 times a week for 12 weeks, 45 to 60 minutes at a time. Before starting and after 12 and 32 weeks’ training both groups were tested with functional tests, blood sampling, and DXA scanning.

During training the players movements were tracked precisely with GPS. Measurements showed an average low speed for the players but they performed 300 deceleration’s, 200 accelerations, and 100 running bouts per hour of soccer training session which is believed to be the reason that soccer is better for the bones than jumping on and off a step bench, for example.

Researchers said “The change in bone mass in the legs of the soccer group showed a significant correlation with the number of times they accelerate and brake. This gives an indication that the effect is linked to the specific activity that we see in soccer, where there is interval running with a lot of accelerating and braking which place great stress on the bone tissue, and that is what makes them strong.” A small umber sustained injury from the football and the gains should be weighed against this loss.

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