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Exercising With Fibromyalgia Pain: Can Whole Body Vibration Be a Solution?

04th November 2016

The third most common rheumatic disorder in the world, fibromyalgia affects mostly women, about 5% of all females suffering from this condition. It can also be present in men and is defined by widespread pain and tenderness of the muscles, permanent fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

Fibromyalgia causes sleep problems and moodiness and can favor the development of other health issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome or obesity. The cause of this condition is not known, but it is believed that prolonged exposure to stress and frequent infections, as well as physical trauma, may favor the development of the typical symptoms.

There’s no known cure for fibromyalgia at the moment, and the manifestations can come and go without an apparent trigger and can get worse in time, being very difficult to say what exactly caused their worsening. The remedies available – pharmacological or non-pharmacological – can only decrease the pain and fatigue for a while, but cannot cure these symptoms completely.

Also, there are medications that can help keep anxiety and stress under control, preventing depression, but none of these treatments offers permanent relief. Exercise and stress-reduction techniques seem to be helpful as well, but for lots of fibro patients, doing conventional exercises is too tiring and stressful.

In today’s article we’ll take a look at the effects of whole body vibration in fibromyalgia sufferers, to see if this type of physical activity could replace conventional workouts and relieve the pain and discomfort caused by fibromyalgia.

Whole body vibration exercises, positive effects in in fibromyalgia patients

Vibration exercises require less time and effort than conventional ones, and can be adjusted to match the fitness level and stamina of the user by simply increasing or decreasing the amplitude, frequency, and intensity of the vibrations. These advantages recommend vibration machines to fibromyalgia sufferers who want to get more active and keep their body in good shape.

With a whole body vibration machine, one can target various body areas and strengthen their muscles and bones, tone their body, improve their circulation and relieve back pain and muscle pain, this form of training being safe in people of all ages. WBV is effective in improving flexibility and the range of motion in joints, as well as in decreasing inflammation and balancing hormones, and seems to help improve one’s mood and energy levels as well.

All these effects are important to fibromyalgia sufferers, and the good news is that there are lots of studies that support the use of vibrating platforms in people with this condition. Spanish scientists from the University of Seville for example tested the efficiency of WBV in 30 postmenopausal women suffering from fibromyalgia. They performed WBV therapy for 6 weeks, and their results were compared to the ones obtained by a control group who performed regular exercises, for the same time period.

The scientists found significant improvements in both groups in terms of strength, balance, pain, stability, and overall health status. However, in the vibration group, the effects were more pronounced, so the researchers concluded that patients with fibromyalgia may gain additional benefits from WBV therapy.

Another study conducted by Spanish scientists from the University of Barcelona showed that exercising on a vibration machine can reduce pain and fatigue in firbo sufferers, improving the physical function of these patients and contributing to a better quality of life.

Researchers from the Purdue University Indianapolis also investigated the use of WBV in fibromyalgia sufferers and found that this form of therapy can reduce pain and improve the quality of life in this group of patients. In another study, whole body vibration exercises were found to contribute to better balance, coordination and muscle strength in patients with fibromyalgia.

Thus, if you suffer from this condition and are looking for a safe and efficient solution, whole body vibration may be a good choice. As suggested by these studies, exercises done on a vibration platform are of low impact, time-efficient, and provide similar benefits or even better results than conventional physical therapy.

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