Vibration Therapy is receiving a lot of attention at the moment, as it not only improves mobility in older people, but it can also help with the pain of Fibromyalgia and some types of Arthritis and also Osteoporosis. An excellent article on this subject can be found at the National Osteoporosis Society.
It has also been incorporated into insoles to improve balance. Vibration Therapy entails using a mechanical vibration machine to treat and prevent physical complaints including injuries and pain.
It is based on the scientific principle that all matter vibrates at a precise frequency and that by using resonant vibration, a balance of matter can be restored. Some researchers think that the vibration may over-ride pain signals going to the nervous system and thus leave you in less pain. It can also help with weight loss.
According to Health Line ‘In 1867, Russian physician and inventor Gustav Zander developed an apparatus that used weights and pulleys to create a sense of vibration. Its purpose was therapeutic. In 1895, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg implemented vibration therapy in his health practice. Using a vibrating chair he developed himself, he claimed it could help improve circulation and alleviate constipation.
During the Russian space program, doctors found that astronauts suffered from bone loss and fractures at a much younger age than normal. They began to use vibration therapy to help strengthen astronauts’ bone mass and muscles. Today, NASA continues to use vibration therapy to help prevent bone loss.
More research is needed on the potential health benefits and risks of vibration therapy. Some evidence suggests it may help treat certain conditions. It may also pose some risks’.
News Medical says that ‘while traditional exercises included aerobic activities, stretching, and relaxation techniques performed twice a week (90 min/day), the group that received vibration therapy followed up the exercises with vibration.
There was a group of patients who received only the exercise programme without the vibrations and a group that did not receive either therapy.
After six weeks of this regimen, the patients were rated according to their pain, fatigue, stiffness, and depression scores.
Results showed that there was a significant reduction in scores for pain and fatigue with vibration therapy but little improvement in stiffness and depression scores.’
There are also Tens machines that work on electronic muscle stimulation as well. However, these should not be tried unless you have got the go-ahead from your GP.