Benefits of Whole-Body Vibration Therapy
About This Passive Exercise Modality
Vibration therapy, or whole-body vibration therapy (WBVT) as we offer it at ReGen Medical Dallas, is a passive exercise modality, which means that the therapy is being performed on the patient and they are not actively engaged in the activity. During whole-body vibration therapy, your therapist will ask you to stand, sit, or lay on a machine supported by a vibrating platform. Rapid vibrations produced by a machine will stimulate receptors over a muscle or tendon, forcing the muscles to contract and relax several times per second. When the vibrations are transmitted to the body, the muscles are able to contract and relax dozens of times each second. This gives the patient the feeling that they are exerting themselves. Some of the benefits that vibration therapy can provide for a patient include:
- Building muscle strength
Research has shown that whole-body vibration helps improve muscle strength and can help with weight loss when a patient supplements it with a healthy diet. The reason for this could be because the process forces the muscles to compensate for the extra stress, making them work harder and become stronger. This makes it a particularly desirable treatment for athletes.
- Preventing muscle soreness
Whole-body vibrational therapy can help minimize symptoms of delayed-onset muscle soreness. One study published in the Journal of Athletic Training showed that the group who completed a whole-body vibration training session experienced reduced symptoms of soreness as compared to the group with no vibration therapy.
- Alleviating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. It leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination. Whole-body vibration is beneficial in treating Parkinson’s disease due to the positive effects it has on the brain and muscular system.
- Enhanced results in less time than exercising
This is the reason that most patients turn to whole-body vibration therapy, and it makes the treatment especially useful for patients who might be physically unable to exercise or do not have time for a long workout.
- Boosting weight loss and reducing abdominal fat
WBVT encourages weight loss by accelerating a patient’s strength training efforts as mentioned above, enhancing blood flow, aiding in recovery from exercise, and decreasing stress. A study conducted by the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University found that whole-body vibration training mimicked the metabolic effects of strenuous exercise in mice. When the mice underwent daily sessions of whole-body vibration for three months, it resulted in shrunken fat cells, reduced weight, and decreased resistance to insulin. Although the results are not foolproof because they were demonstrated in animals, it does ring hope of similar results in humans.
- Reducing negative effects of stress
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a range of processes throughout the body, such as the metabolism, immune response, and the stress response. During periods of prolonged stress, the production of cortisol increases, which causes the body to store more fats in the abdominal area. A study conducted by the Universita di Roma Tor-Vergata in Rome, Italy collected blood samples from a group of 14 male subjects and found that, after exposed to WBVT treatment, the levels of cortisol in the blood decreased, which subsequently decreases stress levels. This study went on to suggest that the therapy leads to improvement in neuromuscular performance.
- Improving balance and coordination
Thanks to the high frequency of muscle contractions that vibration therapy creates, patients are able to recruit muscle fibers, coordinate joint movements, and strengthen their muscle tissue. These effects can lead to improved balance and decreased risk of falls. One study conducted by Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium tested a group of seniors in a nursing home who received vibration therapy three times weekly for six weeks. The study found that WBVT is beneficial for balance and mobility, and can be especially helpful for elderly patients with limited functional dependency.
- Increasing oxygen and energy during exercise
During exercise, your muscles require higher amounts of oxygen. If you are unable to intake a sufficient amount of oxygen, the muscles produce lactic acid rather than energy. Buildup of lactic acid can result in muscle pain, crams, and muscular fatigue. Therefore, it is useful for your body to intake a high amount of oxygen during exercise. Vibration therapy has been shown to enhance the body’s ability to consume oxygen.
- Potential improvement in chronic pain conditions
Patients suffering from chronic pain conditions, like osteoarthritis, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and fibromyalgia, can be helped through WBVT in combination with an at-home exercise program. WBVT can also alleviate symptoms of chronic pain that are not associated with a specific disease like lower back pain.
- Lymphatic cleansing
The lymphatic system is responsible for circulating, cleansing, and filtering the leftover blood in the body. When WBVT moves the muscles, it stimulates the valves in the veins that churn the lymph upwards towards the heart. For this reason, WBVT is a great way to clean the lymph system by incorporating muscle movement, mild zero gravity, and circulation that moves lymph toward the heart. This is important because if the lymphatic system is dirty, there will be inflammation in the lymph nodes.
Experience the Effectiveness of Whole-Body Vibration Therapy
One of the best parts of whole-body vibration therapy is that it can improve the quality of life for any patient. You do not need to struggle with any kind of condition in order to reap its benefits. At ReGen Medical Dallas, we utilize WBVT in a way that helps the body’s nerves heal themselves. We know that the nerves need fuel and activation to repair. We offer WBVT in order to increase the peripheral circulation that supplies damaged nerves with oxygen and glucose while activating the same damaged nerves to prompt repair. WBVT can boost your regular workout routine and bring a heightened sense of wellness to your life.
To take advantage of our WBVT at ReGen Medical Dallas, call us at (214) 855-7750 or contact us online.