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Martial artists who do thing like Muay Thai, kickboxing, and many others strengthen their bones by hitting them in various ways. Generally by kicking a hard object like a tree, by vigorously rolling something hard like a bottle over their shins, or by standing still while someone else whacks them with a stick. You get the idea. The strikes cause microfractures and the bones respond by healing stronger than they were originally.

Has NASA (or any other space agency) ever tried something similar? What were the results of the tests? If they've never tried anything along these lines, why not?

ETA: Also, the experiments need not have been solely whacking someone with a stick. Any high tech method of causing microfractures to bones would count. Or, really, I'm interested in any tested interventions that wasn't either chemical/supplement based or exercise based.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't imagine this has been tried. It only works for bones which have no muscles in the way, you wouldn't be able to use this on someone's pelvis which is one of the biggest bone loss candidates. Also, it's damaging to soft tissues. Plus, trust me it hurts. $\endgroup$ – GdD Jul 11 '17 at 8:25
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    $\begingroup$ They currently go through a grueling daily exercise regime that doesn't work all that great and then have to go through a recuperation process. Without data to compare discomfort vs effectiveness, I'm not sure one is obviously worse than the other. $\endgroup$ – Shane Jul 12 '17 at 16:36
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    $\begingroup$ Also, that pelvis comment made me realize something. Edited question. $\endgroup$ – Shane Jul 12 '17 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ Anyone else initially read this as "marital training"? $\endgroup$ – Sean Jul 20 at 21:53
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I talked with someone over ten years ago at an ISDC about a project that he was working on for NASA to solve this. It involved a vibration plate that one strapped themselves to that would cause micro fractures in the bones. They had done Earthbound tests and it was safe and it was effective (on Earth) in increasing bone density (I don't know/remember how much).

However, I don't know if it ever flew. The problem that he was working on was how to isolate the vibrations from the rest of the station. Apparently, vibrations travel very well through the station and can cause all kinds of havoc with instruments and experiments.

Quite frankly, I don't think that I'd like having a vibration running through the station. Aside from it likely producing an audible buzz in places, it might find a harmonic in something important.

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A quick NTRS search yields no results, so unlikely NASA's studied it seriously. The current training regimen uses weight training, which also strengthens the bones and seems to me to carry a lower risk of training injuries.

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