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What Are the Benefits of Vibration Therapy for Knee Pain?

16th February 2022

Lately, vibration therapy has been gaining quite a momentum. And for a good reason – the ever-growing scientific data on the topic has been revealing some truly impressive results. It appears that the high-frequency, a low-amplitude exercise that is performed on a body vibration plate benefits our health in more or less every possible aspect.

Denser bones, stronger muscles, healthier heart, faster physical recovery, decreased stress levels, and reduced body weight, are just some of the numerous positives of the innovative activity. But how about the health of our joints? Can you use vibration therapy for knee pain, and if yes, how exactly? Let’s find out together!

Where is Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Felt?

In an ideal case scenario, our bones, and joints respectively, go through a cycle of damage and repair. It has been estimated that we have a brand new skeleton every 10 years. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, our bodies cannot cope with the damage adequately and the repair process causes changes in the structure of the joints.

These joint deformities are what is known as the actual disease of osteoarthritis (OA). The unpleasant condition makes the knee cartilage thinner and the surface around the joint get rougher. The ultimate result is a joint that cannot move as smoothly as it is supposed to, causing a feeling of stiffness, pain, and discomfort.

According to scientific data, knee osteoarthritis (KOA) could affect everyone regardless of age or gender, but it’s mainly found in women over 65. In the United States alone there are over 27 million people affected by knee OA. If you are impacted by it, most likely you will experience a painful sensation in the knee area. The pain might come and go, and in most cases is worse in the evenings. It could be felt all around the knee or just the front or side.

Occasionally, people with osteoarthritis knee might have the pain wake them during the nighttime or feel stiffness in the mornings. The best thing to do if the pain worsens is to allow enough time for rest. Additionally, you can take advantage of the knee joint pain relief machine (body vibration platform) and the activity offered by it.

What Are the 4 Stages of Osteoarthritis Knee?

Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis – a medical condition associated with the swelling of the joints. Among all joints in the body, the knee is the one that is most commonly affected by degenerative disease. As to the actual joint – this is the point where two (or more) bones meet together.

Scientists have indicated that the number of individuals suffering from KOA is rising steadily, stating that approximately 50% of the human population is likely to develop the illness during their lifetime. The pain which is associated with the condition could be identified easily with the help of common symptoms or the right diagnostics.

The disease is categorized into 4 stages, varying from minor to severe. Depending on the stage you are in, your medical provider will suggest the most appropriate treatment. Below are the 4 stages of KOA:

  1. Stage One – Minor: patients in this stage will exhibit minor wear and tear in the knee joint, including bone growths at the end of the joint. Pain is unlikely to appear at this stage.
    Special treatment is also uncommon during stage 1, however, lifestyle changes and the use of some supplements are encouraged.
  2. Stage Two – Mild: during this stage people suffering from KOA typically experience more bone growth. Pain is also commonly observed, even though not as much as in the later stages. Stiffness and discomfort are also exhibited by sufferers.

    Usually, doctors will prescribe a specific exercise regime for you to follow to stop the progression of the disease. Vibration therapy for knee pain could also be encouraged at that stage, especially for strengthening the muscle tissue around the joint, as can be seen from this study.

  3. Stage Three – Moderate: in this stage patients experience progressive erosion of the knee cartilage, narrowing the space between the thigh and the shin bones. The joint becomes much rougher leading to moderate inflammation and frequent bouts of pain. Stiffness and snapping sounds during walking are also observed.

    In stage 3 medical specialists may prescribe a pain-relief therapy, such as whole-body vibration, or over-the-counter drugs. Codeine or oxycodone could also be suggested by doctors.

  4. Stage Four – Severe: this stage is considered to be the most severe. Patients experience a significant reduction of the space between the joint bones, making the knee extremely stiff. Severe inflammation, pain, and discomfort are often observed. Soft tissues around the joint could also be destroyed.

    The most adequate treatment in this stage is a realignment surgery, during which the thigh and shin bones are shortened, thus reducing the stress on the joint. Arthroplasty (total knee replacement) may also be suggested by your medical provider.

Is Vibration Good for Osteoarthritis?

Millions of people around the world live with osteoarthritis, severe inflammation, and other medical conditions that affect normal joint functioning. These can not only lead to constant pain but also could limit the ability to move around. In such instances, body vibration therapy might offer a useful tool for reducing the symptoms of the unpleasant condition.

Whole-body vibration has been found to benefit patients with KOA in many different ways. It stimulates the muscle tissue, improves the function of ligaments, aids optimal blood circulation, strengthens joints, reduces inflammation, and decreases the sense of pain. Therefore, exercise is an ideal means for treating conditions, such as knee osteoarthritis.

Over the past decade or so, the link between vibration plate and bad knees has been extensively studied, showing some pretty positive results. Scientists have discovered that the high-frequency vibrations produced by the platform play the role of a sensory distraction, thus further blocking pain signals that are traveling through the body’s nerve system.

As little as 15 – 20 minutes a day, 3 – 5 days a week are enough for you to experience the positive effect of the activity. Some clinical trials show positive outcomes in patients with KOA even after a short 3-month intervention. What is even more, you can now use the vibration machine from the convenience of your own home.

Treatment With Vibration Therapy for Knee Pain

In recent years, vibration therapy for knee pain has become quite a common treatment. The equipment can be found in a growing number of rehabilitation centers, or delivered straight to your door for self-administration. There is no prescription needed, even though it is highly recommended that you follow a program designed by a specialist.

Thanks to the therapy, individuals suffering from knee OA have experienced bigger mobility, greater activity, and improved body functionality. Keep in mind though that you will need to discover an adequate balance between vibration exercise and rest. For instance, most individuals suffering from knee osteoarthritis share that too much physical activity increases pain, whereas too little leads to stiffness in the joints.

Even though it shares some similarities, such as a vibration frequency between 5 – 35 Herz, and an amplitude of up to 8 mm, vibration therapy treatment for knee OA is individual among sufferers, depending on the stage and the severity of the condition. For best results, seek advice from a specialist with adequate experience in the whole-body vibration field.

Conclusion

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis – an unpleasant condition that is characterized by swelling of the joints and the surrounding tissues. From all bodily joints, the knee is the one that is most commonly impacted by the illness. Frequent pain, inflammation, and stiffness are just some of the symptoms of OA, which have decreased the life quality of millions of people in the USA and abroad.

Luckily, scientists have now discovered a new methodology for tackling the medical condition, namely vibration therapy for knee pain. The exercise has been found to benefit knee OA sufferers in various ways, with many experiencing improvements even after three months of intervention. All that the equipment requires from you is to dedicate 15 – 20 minutes a day, 3 – 5 days a week to it. Stay healthy!

References (in order of appearance)
Mora, J. C., Przkora, R., & Cruz-Almeida, Y. (2018). Knee osteoarthritis: pathophysiology and current treatment modalities. Journal of pain research, 11, 2189–2196.

Lai, Z., Lee, S., Chen, Y., & Wang, L. (2021). Comparison of whole-body vibration training and quadriceps strength training on physical function and neuromuscular function of individuals with knee osteoarthritis: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of exercise science and fitness, 19(3), 150–157.

Li, X., Wang, X. Q., Chen, B. L., Huang, L. Y., & Liu, Y. (2015). Whole-Body Vibration Exercise for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2015, 758147.

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