Whole Body Vibration Offers Relief to Patients with Fibromyalgia
MEDICAL NEWS TODAY – JUNE 2, 2014
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by widespread pain in the musculoskeletal system, as well as persistent fatigue. Patients that have been diagnosed with the condition are often hesitant to participate in exercise programs designed for fibro treatment as it may cause pain. However, new research offers information on a few form of exercise that uses vibrations to offer pain relief.
A pilot study published in June 2014 offers information on whole-body vibration therapy and how the exercises can reduce pain and improve the quality of life for those with fibromyalgia. The study was conducted by Indiana University researches, and the findings are promising, but not completely clear as of yet.
As many patients with fibromyalgia know, exercise is vital for pain reduction and physical mobility. With regular exercise, patients with fibromyalgia can prevent progression of the condition and decreased mobility. However, the high levels of pain experienced by those with fibro can lead to excess weight gain, and chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, and Type 2 Diabetes. The revolutionary exercise program, investigated through recent research, offers insight as to how vibration therapy can help symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Vibrational exercises can be done standing up, sitting down, or when lying down. It offers whole-body healing, through a machine that sends vibrations through a specialized platform. The vibrations created by the machine contract and relax the muscles, similarly to the motions that occur during exercise but without the physical effects. The machines researchers studied are the same machines that are sold commercially, and appear in fitness centers worldwide.
Tony Kaleth, associate professor in the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, stated that,
“Vibration training is increasingly being studied in clinical populations as a potential therapeutic mode of exercise training.”
While this research offers promising results, further studies are needed. Researches are unsure if the vibrations or the exercise is offering the improvement. Some patients involved in the study experienced an improvement in strength, muscle spasticity, and pain within select populations.
While there is no cure for fibro, research continues to offer new hope to those with the condition.