Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Positive Effects of Vibration Exercises in Patients With Ra

05th April 2016

Rheumatoid arthritis affects around 400,000 Australians, being the second most common type of arthritis. This joint disease is more likely to affect females and is more common in older age groups, the underlying cause being still unknown. It is, yet, assumed that genetic factors and lifestyle habits like smoking increase the risk of developing RA.

Manifesting through symptoms like pain, swelling and morning stiffness, fatigue and limited movement of the affected joints rheumatoid arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage and deformities. The autoimmune disease appears when the immune system attacks the synovial tissues around joints. This happens because the body mistakes its own tissues for foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria, and starts producing antibodies to destroy the invaders.

Although the main damage is caused to the joints, rheumatoid arthritis affects the entire body, as it is a systemic disease. RA can attack the heart, lungs and muscles, cartilages and ligaments, causing chronic swelling and pain and leading to permanent disability if left untreated. The disease can reduce a person’s capacity to work, and sufferers may need to use medications for reducing the swelling and pain and improving the range of motion of the affected joints. Physical therapy that includes strength training, massage or water therapy, occupational therapy and surgery may also be helpful.

Does whole body vibration therapy help with RA patients?

Scientists from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, have recently published a study in PLoS One on the effects of whole body vibration exercises in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In people affected by this ailment, the functional ability (the ability to perform basic activities like bathing, dressing, shopping and housework) is often impaired, preventing RA sufferers from engaging in a series of activities, including exercising. This leads to a sedentary lifestyle that speeds up the loss of muscle mass weakens the bones and makes rheumatoid arthritis patients more prone to a series of conditions.

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of vibration exercises on the functional ability of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. 31 females with RA were assigned to either a control group or a whole body vibration group, the former performing normal daily activities, while the latter underwent a 3-month WBV program consisting of 15 minutes of intermittent WBV, twice per week.

The parameters of interest were measured at the beginning of the program, at three months (during the program) and three months post-intervention. Results showed that the functional ability was improved in the whole body vibration group, the hip bone mass density was reduced in the control group but constant in the WBV group, and the fatigue levels were improved in the vibration group and unchanged in the control group.

Researchers concluded that intermittent whole body vibration shows promise for improvements in functional ability in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, being a potential solution for attenuating the loss of bone mass at the hip and for decreasing fatigue in patients affected by this joint disease.

For more positive effects of whole body vibration in patients with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, check our previous article: How WBV can improve the health of arthritis sufferers.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to post them below or join our Facebook community and share your thoughts with us there!

Top Posts

Learn more about
the benefits of using vibration therapy and our G series vibrations machines.
Your Cart