New Research

Stress fractures and osteoporosis are occurring at an alarming rate among both recreational and competitive endurance athletes.  These disorders exist on a continuum and result from imbalances in bone remodeling that are oftentimes induced by factors amenable to modification.  Because bone is a dynamic tissue that is governed by an athletes prevailing nutritional, hormonal, mechanical, physiological, and psychological state, a thorough understanding of how each of these interactive systems influences skeletal remodeling is important.  Accordingly, the purpose of is to provide athletes a resource that presents unbiased scientific and empirical training recommendations in order to support both endurance performance and long term skeletal health. 

The information provided here is designed to compliment and expand upon a book written by Thomas (Tom) Whipple MS PT and Robert (Bob) Eckhardt PhD, The Endurance Paradox (Endurance Athlete's Guide to Bone Health).  The book is a comprehensive reference for endurance athletes, coaches, trainers, and sports medicine professionals, interested in the prevention or rehabilitation of exercise induced bone loss or stress fractures.  Contributing forewords are provided by Dr. Margot Putukian MD, Director of Athletic Medicine at Princeton University, Nicholas Romanov PhD, Olympic team coach and founder of The Pose Method, and Bernd Heinrich PhD, Professor, Author, and USA ultra marathon record holder. For additional information or to order The Endurance Paradox, click Here.

About the Authors 

Tom Whipple MS PT has been working with both recreational and competitive athletes as an orthopaedic physical therapist for over 20 years.  He holds academic degrees in Physical Therapy (Northwestern University) and Orthopaedics (Georgia State University) as well as a certificate in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy from the McKenzie Institute, U.S.A.  He was recognized as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist by the American Physical Therapy Association (2000) and was certified by Nicholas Romanov, PhD as a Pose Running Coach in 2004.  His clinical practice at Penn State Sports Medicine is dedicated to the prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries in athletes with a special interest in stress fractures.  He has held university teaching positions and has provided continuing education courses for practicing clinicians across the United States.  In collaboration with scientists from The Pennsylvania State University he is interested in research related to bone physiology in response to different exercise, nutritional, and hormonal states.  He is married to Jody where together in central Pennsylvania they are raising their two children, Jacob and Abbey.

Robert B Eckhardt PhD is Professor of Developmental Genetics and Evolutionary Morphology in the Department of Kinesiology at the Pennsylvania State University, where he is head of the Laboratory for the Comparative Study of Morphology, Mechanics and Molecules. He has been conducting and publishing research for over forty years, specializing in the development and evolution of the human musculoskeletal system. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Australian Research Council, and several private foundations. He has published numerous scientific papers and books, most recently Human Paleobiology (Cambridge University Press, 2000). His laboratory was part of a research team that proved that the origin of bipedal locomotion occurred two million years earlier than previously realized. Dr. Eckhardt was an active recreational runner for several decades before shifting to vigorous daily walking for a more optimum balance between cardiovascular and biomechanical outcomes.