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How to Use Vibration Therapy for Back Pain?

29th April 2022

Did you know that more than 3 million Australians experience back pain (BP) on a daily basis?! This constitutes over 13% of the population in Australia, with an additional 70-80% suffering from lower back problems at least once during their lives. The numbers are indeed worrying, revealing the high prevalence of the unpleasant condition.

And the bad news does not stop there. The lower back issues can further impact your upper back, spine and neck, thus causing additional pain in the areas, muscle weakness, and body numbness. Is there anything we can do to tackle these unpleasant pathological conditions? Luckily, the answer is “Yes”, thanks to the vibration therapy for back pain combined with exercise performed on whole-body vibration.

Is whole-body vibration good for your back?

Since NASA introduced whole-body vibration for mass use in the 1960s, the activity has been improving our health in almost every possible aspect. Increased bone mineral density, stronger muscles, improved circulation, accelerated physical recovery, and faster fat burning rate are only a fraction of the benefits associated with whole-body vibration. Along with these beneficial effects, the regular use of vibration therapy for lower back pain has been linked with managing chronic pain, including aches in the lower back.

According to scientific findings, the regular implementation of whole-body vibration leads to a significant reduction of back pain in as little as 4 – 6 weeks. It has been indicated that the effect is accelerated if combined with lumbar training of 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week. As to the recommended duration of whole-body vibration – 15 – 20 minutes per day, 3 – 4 days per week are perfectly enough.
You can start on the vibrating machine by implementing low to moderate intensity exercises. These are particularly helpful for improving body posture, raising flexibility, and reducing muscle tightness. All of them have been associated with a reduction of lower back pain and stiffness. Make sure you begin slowly and progress gradually.

Can you use vibration therapy for back pain?

As revealed by science, vibration therapy for lower back pain has numerous additional applications when it comes to human health. Apart from strengthening bones, boosting muscle power, and reducing weight, the device has been found particularly helpful within the rehabilitation setting. Scientists are now unanimous that the regular use of the vibration plate aids the alleviation of many pathological conditions and chronic illnesses.

The same is true for patients suffering from a bad back and all its associated symptoms. In fact, whole-body vibration is one the most beneficial exercises for individuals who experience pain in their rear due to the low-impact nature of the activity. Engaging in highly demanding exercises, such as weightlifting, interval training, and aerobics is contraindicated in such circumstances, as these activities can further worsen the symptoms.
You can perform the following exercises on the BVM:

  • Planks
  • Reverse push-ups
  • Lower rear extensions
  • Basic stances
  • Lower rear rotations
  • Lateral raises
  • Cat & camel exercises

Does whole-body vibration help with back pain?

Whole-body vibration offers a safe, proven, and low-impact means for exercising and improving overall health. The activity requires very little of your daily time and almost no effort. What is even more, thanks to technological advancements, you can now perform whole-body vibration from the convenience of your home or office. The machine is compact enough and highly affordable, so you can have it delivered straight to your door and fit it nicely into your house.

Sifting through the scientific data, it becomes evident that the back vibration machine is among the most beneficial devices when it comes to treating back pain. Even though in the majority of cases back pain is not a life-threatening condition, it can progress and significantly reduce the life quality of sufferers. This is why you should address the issue as soon as you start noticing unpleasant feelings on your back.

Thanks to the high-frequency vibrations produced by it, the BVM aids pain in several ways:

  • The equipment leads to increased strength in the lower back muscles;
  • Whole-body vibration decreases muscle stiffness and tightness in the rear area;
  • The regular use of the equipment stimulates spinal motion and improves body posture;
  • Whole-body vibration leads to an accelerated activation of the muscles in the lumbar-abdominal area, thus further relieving the symptoms of BP.

How long should you do vibration therapy?

Vibration therapy offers plenty of opportunities for increasing your fitness level and improving your overall health status. You can stand, sit or lie down on the platform and let the high-frequency vibrations do their job. Alternatively, you can throw in extra exercises, such as planks, push-ups, or squats, and accelerate the fitness outcomes.

However, just as with any other type of physical activity, vibration therapy has its thresholds and you should not attempt to go above these. “More” does not necessarily mean “better”. Adhere to the safety precautions of the manufacturer and stick to the daily and weekly limits.

When using the BVM follow these safety tips:

  • Do not use the machine for more than 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week;
  • You can use the equipment all year round provided that you follow the above-mentioned advice;
  • Do not go over vibration frequencies of 40 Hz; G-forces of 25 Gs; and amplitudes of 8 mm;
  • Choose a machine that offers a pivotal type of movement, as opposed to a lineal movement;
  • Stay away from the device if you are recovering from a recent operation, are pregnant, or have recently been fitted with metal bolts.

How do vibration plates help back pain?

Among the best ways to speed up body healing and reduce back pain is by increasing your blood circulation and stimulating blood flow to bodily tissues. This is best achieved by exercise but when you suffer from stiffness and BP, it can be almost impossible to achieve the desired level of physical activity. This is where the vibration plate fits in perfectly.

The machine offers all of the benefits related to conventional physical activity, but without any of the unwanted impact, stress, and other side effects. Thanks to the high-frequency oscillations emitted by the back vibration machine, your muscles are stimulated to contract at a greater rate, thus leading to increased strength, improved circulation, and reduced body pain.
Furthermore, the regular use of the vibrating plates has been linked to a decrease in the inflammatory markers in individuals suffering from arthritis and chronic pain. This is achieved partially by the fact that whole-body vibration acts positively on the central nervous system pain receptors, making them less perceptible to painful sensations.

Final words

Back pain is an extremely unpleasant condition that affects millions of Australians every year. The aching sensation may come and go and impact not only your rear but also surrounding areas like your waist and neck. If the pain stays for more than 3 months it is considered chronic which in turn has been associated with additional health risks and a further decrease in quality of life.

Insomnia, depression, and anxiety are just some of the extra negative attributes of prolonged back pain. If left untreated the condition forms a vicious cycle that worsens over time, eventually leading to a point of no return. Luckily, with the regular use of the back vibration machine, you can decrease the painful feeling in your rear and start living your life to the fullest. 15 – 20 minutes a day, 3 – 4 days a week are perfectly enough to rip off all the health benefits.

References (in order of appearance)

Yang, J., & Seo, D. (2015). The effects of whole-body vibration on static balance, spinal curvature, pain, and disability of patients with low back pain. Journal of physical therapy science, 27(3), 805–808.

Omidvar, M., Alavinia, S. M., & Craven, B. C. (2019). The effects of whole-body vibration therapy on reducing fat mass in the adult general population: A systematic review and meta-analyses. Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions, 19(4), 455–464.

Baxter, A. (2019). Vibration for Chronic Pain. The benefits of mechanical stimulation in managing chronic conditions: from a history of whole-body stimulation to today’s focal techniques, pp. 60-63.

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