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Vibration machine exercises can help in inflammatory conditions

06th August 2016 by admin
Vibration machine exercises can help in inflammatory conditions

Inflammation in itself is not harmful. An inflammatory reaction is the body’s response to a harmful stimuli, such as a pathogen, an irritant or tissue damage. When the body detects a harmful stimuli, it tries to protect itself by removing that stimuli or neutralizing its effects and beginning the healing process.

For example, when a bacterium or virus causes an infection, the body responds through inflammation, so inflammation is not the infection, but the organism’s response to it. This type of inflammation is called “acute”, and manifests through swelling, pain, redness, heat and immobility.

These symptoms can be defined through the acronym PRISH, although traditionally they’re referred to as Dolor (the Latin word for “pain”) – Calor (heat) – Rubor (redness) – Tumor (swelling) and Functio laesa (injured function).

If you experience these symptoms, then you know it’s an episode of acute inflammation, and not chronic inflammation. What’s the difference between these two forms, and which of them can be relieved through whole body vibration?

Acute versus chronic inflammation – how to recognize each form

Acute inflammation has a rapid onset and becomes severe quickly. It manifests through the already mentioned symptoms – swelling of the tissues and redness of the affected area, heat, pain and difficulty moving the limb or joint, but also through flu-like symptoms like headaches, fatigue or a feeling of tiredness, fever and chills, appetite changes and muscle stiffness and pain.

Acute inflammation comes quickly but goes away in a few days in most cases, and doesn’t interfere with one’s ability to perform daily activities, in the long run, so it doesn’t affect the quality of life. This form of inflammation can be treated and one can identify the causative agent very precisely. In some cases, however, acute inflammation can develop into chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation contains the word “chronic” which defines a long-term problem, so it’s already clear that this form of inflammation can be present for months or years. It is usually the result of an episode of acute inflammation that was poorly managed, or of an autoimmune response to an antigen. The latter situation appears when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own, healthy tissues, because it sees them as harmful pathogens.

Chronic inflammation can also result from an irritant of low intensity that persists for months or years and is not treated in any manner. Rheumatoid arthritis, chronic sinusitis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, asthma, tuberculosis and other such conditions are considered chronic inflammatory diseases. Atherosclerosis, periodontitis and even some forms of cancers can result from chronic inflammation.

The redness, warmth, pain, swelling and all other symptoms occur when the body’s white blood cells attack the foreign substances. White blood cells are part of the organism’s immune system, so they are involved in protecting the body from pathogens. When an infection is detected, the amount of white blood cells released into the blood increases, and leads to the mentioned manifestations.

Older people are more prone to experiencing acute and chronic inflammation, and overweight individuals are also more likely to develop inflammatory conditions, as they have more inflammatory markers. Studies suggest that in some cases, losing at little as 5% of your body weight is enough for significantly reducing the levels of inflammatory markers and for decreasing the risk of inflammatory diseases.

How can whole body vibration help in inflammatory conditions?

It’s well known that intense exercise leads to a temporary increase in inflammatory markers, as this is the body’s mechanism of repairing the damaged tissues. However, in the long run, high intensity workouts can actually combat inflammation, so if you’re suffering from a chronic or acute inflammatory condition, you should commit to a long-term aerobic or strength training program.

Or, if you prefer, you can add whole body vibration training to your schedule, as several studies suggest that vibration machine exercises can help in managing and relieving the symptoms in certain inflammatory conditions.

Regular exercise may act as a natural anti-inflammatory solution, all forms of physical activity having anti-inflammatory effects when practiced constantly. Whole body vibration is just another form of exercise, and there are indeed studies that confirm the positive effects of WBV in inflammatory ailments. We’ll take a look at some of these studies.

A first research paper was published in the journal of Mechanisms of ageing and development, and was conducted by scientists from the Georgia Regents University, USA. This study involved the participation of 28 elderly patients, who were randomly assigned to either a training or a control group, and followed a 8-week whole body vibration program.

The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of whole body vibration on inflammatory markers. Blood samples were taken before and after the workouts and were analyzed for each group; at the end of the study, results showed that the vibration exercise group had improved anti-inflammatory markers.

Scientists who conducted this study found that WBV may reduce the plasma concentration of C-reactive protein, a substance that is produced by the liver. When levels of C-reactive protein are high, it indicates that there’s inflammation throughout the body. A recent infection or long-term inflammation may lead to an increased production of C-reactive protein.

Now let’s take a look at some chronic inflammatory conditions and see if whole body vibration is of any help. We already mentioned that when we define a condition as “chronic”, we refer to an ailment that is long-lasting, so in this category are included rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease and so on.

Not all chronic conditions can be improved with whole body vibration exercises, as the triggers and symptoms are different, but there are some chronic ailments that can benefit from vibration therapy.

Multiple sclerosis for example is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, which manifests through balance problems, spasticity and motor weakness. It affects mostly the lower extremities, and can severely affect one’s quality of life. Studies have showed that whole body vibration therapy can lead to an increase in muscle strength in these patients, although some research papers suggest that the improvements were not statistically significant.

In rheumatoid arthritis patients, WBV can help in improving functional ability, which is the term used for defining the ability to perform basic activities like shopping, dressing, bathing or housework, through regular whole body vibration exercises. In a study done on 31 females with rheumatoid arthritis, 15 minutes of vibration therapy, twice per week, repeated for three months, led to significant improvements in functional ability.

At the same time, vibration therapy helped in reducing fatigue and in maintaining the bone mass density, while the control group saw a decrease in the hip bone mineral density. It was concluded that intermittent vibration exercises can be a potential solution for patients with rheumatoid arthritis who suffer from bone loss and fatigue.

In patients with chronic knee osteoarthritis, body vibration machine exercises helped in reducing pain intensity and in increasing muscle strength and dynamic balance. This form of training was found to be more effective than conventional training in reducing pain, but equally effective in strengthening the muscles or improving balance.

Finally, in COPD patients, whole body vibration exercises helped in improving exercise capacity and health-related quality of life, while causing no adverse effects. In one study, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease showed improvements in muscular function and exercise capacity after undergoing physiotherapy plus whole body vibration, the results being better than those obtained in the group who receive physiotherapy alone.

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