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Effects of Whole-Body Vibration on Diabetic Type 2 Patients

10th December 2021
whole-body vibration effect on diabetes type II

Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a form of physical activity that is performed on special fitness equipment. The equipment is known as the vibration plate, the body vibrating platform, or the G-force machine. So far, WBV has been associated with several significant health benefits, such as increased bone mineral density, improved circulation, and decreased body fat percentage, among others.

Recent studies have indicated another interesting benefit of the vibrating plate, related to diabetes. It has been indicated that the regular use of the equipment helps relieve the symptoms of diabetes type 2. In the following lines, we are going to explore the implementation of vibration therapy for diabetes type 2 and will discuss what is the best exercise for people who suffer from the medical condition.

Are vibration machines good for diabetics?

The body vibration machines have been around for quite some time now. To date, there is a significant amount of scientific data that examines the effect of the equipment on various aspects of human health. For instance, it has been established that whole-body vibration leads to an improvement in blood circulation, increases bone mineral density, strengthens the muscles, aids lymphatic drainage, alleviates the symptoms of chronic back pain, accelerates physical recovery, and reduces body fat percentage.

Apart from the abovementioned health benefits, recently scientists have discovered a promising link between neuropathy and whole-body vibration. It has been made evident that the mechanical oscillations produced by the body vibrating machine lead to better blood circulation towards the lower limbs, improved glucose levels, and increased insulin sensitivity of cells. The findings suggest that whole-body vibration offers a low-impact, time-efficient, and effortless type of exercise for relieving the symptoms of diabetes type 2.

Obesity is among the biggest factors for developing type 2 diabetes. WBV exercise benefits diabetes sufferers by helping them maintain a healthy weight, reduce visceral fat content, and control blood sugar levels. Keeping glucose levels at bay is one of the best approaches to reduce the complications that have been linked to the neuropathy condition. All that is required from you to use the vibration plate for diabetic neuropathy is 10 – 15 minutes of your time a day, 3 – 4 days a week.

How does a vibration plate help diabetes?

how whole-body vibration helps with diabetes
The plate produces high-frequency vibrations that pass through the human body and benefit pretty much every area of it. The exercise involves sitting, standing, or lying down on the platform, which results in muscle fibre contractions at a greater rate. Due to the rising popularity of the machine, recently scientists have been testing its application for various medical conditions, including the use of vibration therapy for diabetes. The results have been quite promising and show that the equipment helps diabetic patients in several different ways:

  • WBV reduces overall body weight and fat percentage – obesity is among the leading factors for developing type 2 diabetes. The regular use of the vibration plate has been associated with a faster metabolism, increased energy expenditure, and accelerated fat burning rate;
  • The high-frequency vibrations improve blood circulation, including that to the lower extremities – this benefit has been found to significantly reduce the risk of lower-limb amputations, which is linked with the progression of diabetes;
  • The regular use of the body vibration machine reduces fasting glucose levels in diabetes type 2 patients – maintaining blood sugar levels in the healthy range decreases the risk of further complications that have been linked with diabetes, such as kidney disease, eye-sight problems, and lower limb ulcers;

Is vibration good for neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a complex medical condition that is difficult to diagnose, let alone treat. Luckily, thanks to the advancements in science and technology, nowadays there are safer and more reliable means of tackling the symptoms of the disease. One of the latest additions in the field is the body vibration machine. For the past several years, scientists have been testing the use of the vibration plate for diabetic neuropathy, and the findings are quite promising. It has been demonstrated that whole-body vibration offers a beneficial means for alleviating the condition.

Having said that, you should bear in mind that not all vibrations are equal. In order to benefit from the vibrating plate, it needs to produce oscillations within a certain range. Otherwise, you risk simply wasting your time (too low frequency) or damaging vital organs in your body (too high frequencies). Health specialists have found that the most beneficial vibration frequency is within the range of 5 Hz – 35 Hz.

It is also important to mention that diabetes sufferers may sometimes lack energy or stamina, or have accompanying medical conditions which might make it difficult to use the plate. In this case, it is recommended to use the equipment with care, and start at lower frequencies and time durations. Adjust the settings accordingly with time as your confidence and physical abilities grow. If in doubt, seek advice from your health provider.

What is the best exercise for diabetics?

It is very important for people who live with diabetes to make certain diet and lifestyle changes in order to keep the condition at bay and prevent it from getting worse. For instance, when it comes to physical activity, diabetes sufferers should consider several vital aspects.

  • Check your blood sugar levels regularly and avoid training if these are below a certain threshold (less than 100 mg/dL). Failure to do so might result in a state of hypoglycemia which carries the risk of losing consciousness;
  • Choose types of physical activities that aid fat burning and weight control. Cardio exercises, such as jogging, cycling and swimming, have been proven great. Furthermore, the vibration plate offers another means for low-impact high-intensity exercise that has been found ideal for people with diabetes. Do not overdo it though as these activities use glucose as the main source of energy. Start slowly and increase the intensity, duration and frequency gradually;

It has been indicated that whole-body vibration successfully stimulates the metabolism in people who suffer from diabetes, and offers a safe and efficient alternative for exercise by diabetic patients who do not have the needed stamina for conventional aerobic exercise. According to the findings of this study, the ideal vibrating exercise regime consists of 3 sessions per week, each including 8 – 12 minutes of stand-up and semi-squat exercise, at a frequency of 30 Hz, and amplitude of up to 2 mm.

Final words

Whole-body vibration has been found beneficial in various areas of human health. The activity that is performed on the body vibrating machine aids weight loss, improves circulation, strengthens muscles, increases bone mineral density, and reduces chronic back pain, among others.

More recent findings have shown a promising link between neuropathy and whole-body vibration. It has been indicated that the regular use of the vibration plate fights many of the factors that lead to diabetes type 2, including obesity, hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance. Having said that, diabetes sufferers should use the equipment with care and speak with their doctor if in doubt.

References (in order of appearance)

Games, K. E., Sefton, J. M., & Wilson, A. E. (2015). Whole-body vibration and blood flow and muscle oxygenation: a meta-analysis. Journal of athletic training, 50(5), 542–549.

Manimmanakorn, N., Manimmanakorn, A., Phuttharak, W., & Hamlin, M. J. (2017). Effects of Whole Body Vibration on Glycemic Indices and Peripheral Blood Flow in Type II Diabetic Patients. The Malaysian journal of medical sciences: MJMS, 24(4), 55–63.

Behboudi, L., Azarbayjani, M. A., Aghaalinejad, H., & Salavati, M. (2011). Effects of aerobic exercise and whole-body vibration on glycaemic control in type 2 diabetic males. Asian journal of sports medicine, 2(2), 83–90.

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