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Effects of WBV without medication on bone density, in osteoporosis

28th September 2016
Effects of WBV without medication on bone density, in osteoporosis

There are lots of studies that support the use of whole body vibration in the treatment of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, and a great percentage of these studies suggest that vibration exercises may be more effective in improving bone mass density and mineral content than conventional strength exercises.

However, there isn’t that much research on the effects of vibration therapy in women with osteoporosis, who don’t take any medication for this. So in today’s article we’ll look at one study recently published by Brazilian researchers in the Journal of musculoskeletal and neuronal interventions.

Scientists from the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, reviewed the existing literature in order to determine whether whole body vibration has any effects on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women suffering from osteoporosis, with no medication.

The frequency of vibration used in the investigated studies varied between 12 Hz and 90 Hz, and the time used in the protocols varied from 2 to 22 months. A total of 12 studies were included in this research, and of these, 7 showed improvements in the bone mineral density of some bones in postmenopausal women who performed whole body vibration exercises, without taking osteoporosis medications.

Another review study published a few years ago by Brazilian researchers investigated the effects of different land-based exercises – whole body vibration, resistance training, endurance exercises and multicomponent programs – on bone health in postmenopausal women.

This research paper found that all these types of exercise can be helpful; according to the review, resistance training should be done 2-3 times a week and impact exercise such as whole body vibration should be performed at a frequency of 25-35 Hz. The researchers also noted that the exercise load and frequency should be adapted to the bone health, and that multi-component training may be more useful as it is accompanied by a lower failure frequency.

Finally, Egyptian researchers investigated the effects of WBV and resistance training on bone mineral density of obese postmenopausal women. 80 women were enrolled in their study, with ages varying from 50 to 68 years. The body mass index varied between 30 and 36 kg/m2, and the exercise prescription consisted of either resistance exercises or whole body vibration training.

Results showed improvements in the bone mineral density in certain body areas in both groups, both forms of training being useful not only in strengthening bones but also in reducing the BMI and waist to hip ratio.

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