Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis - Campus Access


Health & Human Sciences (HHSC)

First Advisor

Hawley C. Almstedt, Ph.D., R.D.


Background: Osteoporosis is a chronic disease of major public health concern which results from low bone mineral density [BMD] and increases risk of fracture. Research is needed to evaluate methods that may increase BMD in effort to combat osteoporosis. Recent studies suggest that intermittent pneumatic compression [IPC] may deliver an osteogenic effect by improving BMD, however no work to date has evaluated its influence on non-fractured bone. Research question: The present study evaluates the feasibility and potential benefits of IPC on BMD at the hip of individuals without injury. Type of study: With-in subjects intervention Method: Nine participants (3 male, 6 female) completed IPC treatment on one leg 1 hour/day, 5 hours/week for 10 weeks. Pressure was set to 60 mmHg when using the PresSsion (Chattanooga, Vista, CA) and Flowtron Hydroven (Huntleigh Helathcare, Eatontown, NJ) compression units. The intervention was preceded and followed by measurements of anthropometrics, BMD, physical activity and nutrient intakes. Results: The average number of completed intervention sessions was 43.4 (±3.8) at an average duration of 9.6 (±0.8) weeks. A two-way, repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated a significant difference in change in BMD between treated and non-treated limbs at the femoral neck (p=0.023), trochanter (p=0.027), and the total hip (p=0.008). On average the treated hip increased 0.4-1.0%, while the non-treated hip displayed a 0.7-1.7% decline, depending on the bone site. Conclusion: Results of this preliminary investigation suggest that IPC may be osteogenic and warrants further investigation as a means to prevent or reduce outcomes of osteoporosis.