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New Studies on the Effects of Whole Body Vibration Training

22nd May 2014

The effects of whole body vibration training on the human body continue to be investigated in the attempt to find the optimal parameters for using this form of therapy in preventing certain health issues or ameliorating the symptoms caused by other conditions.

Recent studies suggest that WBV might be effective in preventing bone resorption, improving functional mobility and strength in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, as well as in improving postural control.

A first study published in the Aviation, space and environmental medicine journal in May this year suggests that WBV is effective in decreasing bone resorption in rats, but has no effects on bone formation or mineral density.

The study investigated the effects of vibration training in 10 male rats, for six months, subjects exposed to vibration waves with the following parameters: 50Hz frequency, 4.92 G acceleration, 2.5 mm peak-to-peak amplitude. Subjects received four 30-second bouts of vibration per day, five days a week. The concentration of C-terminal telopeptide of type 1 collagen was lower in the WBV group.

Another pilot study published in the Pediatric neurology journal last month showed that WBV therapy is well tolerated by children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, this form of treatment having the potential to preserve strength, functional mobility, and bone mass.

four patients were recruited for this study, and they all received side-alternating WBV therapy for four weeks, the number of treatment sessions being 3 per week. The protocol was well tolerated by all the patients, with no major changes in functional mobility. The study concluded that WBV might improve or maintain the strength and mobility of kids affected by this condition.

Postmenopausal women with a reduced bone mineral density can also benefit from whole body vibration training, recent research shows. In a systematic review published this month, WBV was found to increase the muscle activity and improve bone density in the lumbar spine and hip in a group of postmenopausal women who received three 15-minute sessions of WBV per week, at frequencies varying from 12.5 Hz to 30-40 Hz. Significant improvements were seen in all parameters, regardless of the WBV training frequency.

Finally, a fourth study published in the Workplace health and safety journal in May this year showed that stochastic resonance whole body vibration training could be an effective tool in the prevention of balance-related injuries at work, this form of physical activity is efficient in improving postural control. The study involved 124 employees of a Swiss university hospital given eight weeks of WBV training.

These studies confirm once again that whole body vibration is an effective form of therapy for people with weak muscles and bones and that weekly WBV training sessions can improve the strength and functioning of postural and movement muscles, increase the bone density, decrease the risk of falls and injuries by improving posture and reducing bone resorption, and improve one’s functional mobility.

If you’re not familiar with whole body vibration yet, check out the complete WBV series or take a look at the video below, to understand how WBV works.

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