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Bone-building suit

Ultrasonic bone-building exercise/therapy suit
  [vote for,

I was watching a TV documentary on the biomechanics of martial arts and one of the claims they made was that dedicated martial artists built up "stone fists" by repeatededly traumatizing their fists and wrists. The bones in the hand literally break, the docu sez, on a microstructural scale, and are repaired by the body in a denser, more calcified matrix. My idea was to extend this theraputic trauma to the entire body by encasing the skeleton (or a portion thereof) in a suit of some kind, (fluid-filled?) then sending ultrasonic vibes through it (Van Halen?) in order to inspire the same kind of impact trauma that martial artists use to increase bone density...I wondered about effects at old age too, scad. But lots of old people have probs with bones that are too fragile. Maybe this would help?
cloudface, Jul 20 2004

Martial Arts health article (general) http://www.fighting...dicine/medicine.htm
[cloudface, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Refers specifically to impact exercise http://www.stumptuo...m/bonebuilding.html
[cloudface, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Some company and their coral. http://www.arthroscopy.com/sp12013.htm
yeah um... *shrug* [countzero, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

It all comes back to me now...ouch...ahhh http://www.spacapsu...massage_machine.htm
Seeing one of these things is what triggered this idea...Get it? Back? Massage? This machine is kinda like what I'm thinking of, but maybe targeted using an mri at bones to replicate impact exercise safely... [cloudface, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Studies suggest that mechanical forces of the ultrasound waves transform into electrical impulses as they travel through the tissues http://www.fda.gov/...tures/396_bone.html
Look under the heading "Healing Helpers." [robinism, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Cat purring may heal bones http://snips.8m.com...20and%20healing.htm
...researchers have found that vibrations or energy currents in the range of 20 to 50 Hz (same as cat purring) stimulate bone growth... [MaineCoon, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       Disco revival?
dpsyplc, Jul 20 2004

       [cloudface] I have a friend with a road compactor hire business. It may be cheaper to use the compactors to 'microfracture' your customers. We could do hundreds at once, and avoid the cruelty of subjecting them to Van Halen.
ConsulFlaminicus, Jul 21 2004

       I think if you catapulted them against a block of wood a few hundred times should do it (as long as they yelled something that sounded asian just before they hit)
tasman, Jul 21 2004

       I'm not sure, but I think that this would cause a great deal of tissue damage as well. I'm not sure if there is a resonant bone frequency . . . maybe that's why Van Halen makes my head ring.
contracts, Jul 21 2004

       Tissue damage: You're right, I'm sure. I'm not saying that this therapy would be done as a one-time-only treatment. And martial arts also involve tissue damage. Who knows? Maybe a sophisticated suit or regimen could build muscle as well. I'm guessing artificially-induced microfracturing could be used as part of a physical therapy or athletic regimen. And I'm interested more in the benefits of systematically microfracturing bones to increase density than finding their resonant chord. Which is a good idea itself: When was the last time you heard a synth program that mimicked an original-instrument human-bone-xylophone? Although I had a girlfriend who was good at that once. Ultrasound was only one suggested way to induce impact trauma. VH4fr!
cloudface, Jul 21 2004

       //dedicated martial artists built up "stone fists" by repeatededly traumatizing their fists and wrists.//   

       <skeptic> So all the ones that permanently damage their fists and wrists are classified as "dropouts" as opposed to "dedicated martial artists." </skeptic>   

       Of course with your suggestion, the damage could probably be more closely controlled so you might have a better ratio of winners and loosers.   

       Another thought: you may create a "stone fist" now, but how does that translate into bone strength and joint flexibility as old age sets in. I've heard the theory that even when an injured joint heals "completely", it is still more likely to have problems later. So I'd suggest that this device be subjected to some very long studies before being widely used. Are there any primates appropriate for testing that suffer from osteoporosis, arthritis and other human-like bone/joint problems in their shorter lifespan?
scad mientist, Jul 21 2004

       I think there is a difference between bone density and bone "rigidity". This might cause more brittle bones -- that would be bad.
zigness, Jul 21 2004

       Perhaps could be applied to space exploration.
bpilot, Jul 22 2004

       Perhaps could be applied to space exploration, either during long-term tours of low g's or preemptively during training.
bpilot, Jul 22 2004

       I dont know if you want calcified bones for your whole body. bad idea.
energy guy, Jul 22 2004

       How about just building on the bone itself? Make it thicker. You can do this with coral grafts on the bone, the calcium structure of the coral forms a lattice for the bone to grow through.
countzero, Jul 22 2004

       If you could trick the osteoblasts into fortifying the bone as if it had been broken, you could accomplish this without trauma. The fracture must send some sort of chemical signal to the bone cells that get them to do their thing.
bungston, Jul 23 2004

       I'm suprised at the number of skeptics here, since this is actually 10 year old technology.   

       From an FDA web site:   

       "In 1994, FDA approved the first ultrasound bone growth stimulator. The Sonic Accelerated Fracture Healing System (SAFHS) is for adults with small fractures in the lower leg or lower forearm. A cast or splint is used. It is the first stimulator for the treatment of fractures occurring within seven days before treatment. Studies suggest that mechanical forces of the ultrasound waves transform into electrical impulses as they travel through the tissues."   

       Bones respond to weight-bearing exercise by getting thicker. Bone growth stimulators provoke a similar response, without the weight-bearing exercise.   

       Cloudface's idea of using bone growth stimulators all over the body, in a garment, for prevention of fractures, seems original. Is prevention of fractures important? It would seem so. Fractures are so common in older women, that young women are told to take daily calcium supplements in order to prevent old-age fractures.
robinism, Jul 26 2004

       //Studies suggest that mechanical forces of the ultrasound waves transform into electrical impulses as they travel through the tissues//   

       If that quack statement is 'FDA approved' I'll eat my shorts!!   

       Pressure has been shown to promote more rapid fracture healing - ultrasound can do it too, but not by 'transforming into electrical impulses..'. The effect can be brought on by time in a hyperbaric chamber, or by inflatable casts - tricky timing though, in when to apply and release the pressure for maximum benefit.
ConsulFlaminicus, Jul 26 2004

       [ConsulFlaminicus] I agree that the quote from the FDA web site sounds like it came from a quack scientist. Nevertheless, it did come from the FDA web site. I added the link to the links section for you.   

       I'm interested in bone growth stimulators because I'm using one right now. Mine's electrical though. There's an electrode on either side of the bone graft in my neck. My doctor prescribed it and my insurance is paying for it.   

       What does electricity have to do with bone growth? I think I read that when a bone is squeezed, an electrical potential is set up within the bone, and that is part of the chain of events that stimulates bone growth.   

       Kind of like the piezo effect?
robinism, Jul 26 2004

       Added a link regarding cat purring, which has been theorized to be a healing vibration frequency, including healing bones. Not to mention it's owner-manipulating properties. ("No kitty, you can't go on the patio." *PURRR* "... don't stay out too long!")
MaineCoon, Jul 26 2004

       Friend of mine has arthritis in her knuckles from doing too much breaking of boards and stuff in martial arts.   

       She's only 18. I don't think this is a good plan...
eulachon, Jul 26 2004

       [robinism] OK, it IS on the FDA site, but it's written by a fluff writer from the consumer office. I have decided not to eat my shorts, but will eat a pair of my wife's (Incontinentia Buttocks) panties instead.   

       <desperately searching QuackWatch for article debunking electrical healing>
ConsulFlaminicus, Jul 27 2004


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