Vibration Therapy for the Treatment of Osteoporosis
by Dr. David Williams
Filed Under: Osteoporosis, Bone & Joint Health
Bones grow and re-mineralize in response to the forces of stress placed on them. This generally requires that you engage in some type of progressive resistance exercise—that is, weight lifting—to keep your bones strong and to prevent and treat osteoporosis.
However, weight lifting isn’t an option for everyone. Fortunately, there’s a therapy that can be used by even those unable to lift weights to strengthen muscles and bones. It’s a technology called “whole body vibration therapy.”
How Does Whole Body Vibration Therapy Work?
Vibration therapy involves a mechanical vibrating plate (or bed) upon which an individual stands (or lies down). When the plate is adjusted to the right frequency, simply standing (or lying down) on it will cause the body’s postural muscles to contract anywhere from 30 to 50 times a second.
As the body ever so slightly shifts back and forth, the muscles must contract and relax with each shift. In just 10 minutes, the muscles get a tremendous workout, resulting in increased strength, stability, and tone. Blood flow also increases throughout the body, and joints become stronger and more flexible. Also, studies have shown that levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol decrease, while levels of other hormones, such as growth hormone and testosterone, which are important for regeneration and repair processes, actually increase.
What Kind of Results Can I Expect?
Using vibration therapy three times a week can lead to dramatic results. Vibration training can increase muscle strength 20 to 30 percent more than conventional strength training, while dramatically cutting training time. There are also a number of exercises that can be done on the machine. The vibration effectively increases the force placed on muscle fibers by three times the force of gravity.
Vibration therapy is one of the easiest ways for someone of any age or condition can increase joint mobility, muscle strength, overall circulation, bone strength and density, and overall fitness.