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DEXA Test: How Bone Density Impacts Body? Can It Be Crucial For A Player?

Bone density affects the body: How critical can it be for an athlete?

Written by Tavishi Dogra |Updated : January 6, 2023 7:31 PM IST

Gearing up ahead of the upcoming World Cup, BCCI has come up with the inclusion of the Dexa Test to select players. In light of recent happenings, team India has had a dismal performance, with several key players missing tests owing to injury. Hence, player fitness has been a concern for the selectors who brought this move. The Dexa scan is a standard gold method for determining bone mineral density. With leading players suffering injuries and re-injuries, the Dexa scan will help provide deeper insight into players' fitness and physical condition, allowing them to customize plans based on individual needs. Dr Aashish Chaudhry, Sr. Consultant & Head Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement, Aakash Healthcare, New Delhi, shares all about the DEXA scan.

So, 'What Is This Dexa Test' And Why Is It Important?

Strong bones are critical for your health. And Dexa is a scientific method that uses a unique technique known as spectral imaging to measure bone loss. A bone mineral density test measures your bone health and compares it to a healthy person of the same age and sex as you are. In addition, the test can ascertain your risk of breaking bones besides other conditions such as osteopenia (low bone density) and osteoporosis a disease that weakens your bones. This can be important for players as a low bone density can put them at a greater risk of fractures and impact their bone health.

Further, It Is An International Standard

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  • A 10-minute test allows one to measure the total body fats besides breaking down the body's bone mass, fat tissue, and muscles.
  • Using serial Dexa measurement may provide essential data regarding training outcomes and rehabilitation progress and indicate decreases in skeletal muscle mass or bone mineral density or increases in fat mass that could be detrimental to player performance.
  • Indian cricket faced various instances in the recent past where injured players were rushed to the playing squad only to get hurt again after playing a handful of matches.

This is where Dexa is expected to play an important role.

  • It is a foolproof method that can thoroughly check and determine if a player is having any primary knock or niggle with the potential to inflict damage in the future.
  • Further, it also helps to understand whether the training methods yield the desired results or whether changes need to be made.
  • Usually, for a player, regular training is key to maintaining bone strength and mineral density.
  • However, these two get affected when recovering from an injury, affecting their bone health.
  • So, the test will assess all these parameters and act as a precautionary step for players returning to action, saving them from a re-injury.

Conclusion

Besides, the Dexa scan results decide the different fitness regimes for individual players. Dexa is part of testing protocols that should have become a norm long back. Unfortunately, some teams have been doing this for a decade.

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