Myth: Vibration exercise therapy is something new.
Fact: Vibration, in various forms, has been around for years. Local vibration has been used with the spinal cord population to fatigue muscles and decrease spasticity. Other forms of local vibration have been used to break up scar tissue adhesions, increase blood flow to the area and increase local mobility. As Chiropractors, we have been using localized vibration for years as an integral part of our practice. Vibration exercise therapy is just a novel alternative to generate global effects of vibration as part of an exercise program.
Myth: Whole body vibration has adverse effects similar to occupational whole body vibration.
Fact: Occupational vibration effects is determined by amount of dose of vibration per day and the frequency of that vibration. Vibration exercise therapy utilizes frequencies that are in the safe range. For example, frequencies of less than 20 HZ represents the resonance frequencies of the internal organs. This is why truck vibration contributed to so many low back problems. However, vibration exercise frequencies don’t go into this range. In addition, occupational vibration exposure is cumulative over time with several hours a day of dosage to produce any significant adverse effects. Vibration exercise therapy takes only 15 minutes per day, three times per week.
Myth: Vibration therapy is limited to athletic people that can handle the stress of vibration exercise.
Fact: Initially, vibration exercise therapy has been used by high level athletes to give them that extra edge in competition. However, more and more hospitals, therapy and chiropractic centers are starting to use vibration exercise therapy to increase function and decrease pain. New research is showing the positive effects that vibration therapy is having for the senior population, in addition to people that are compromised with any host of health issues. It’s shifting from the high level athlete to the individual that is unable to engage in conventional exercise due to physical limitations or conditions.
Myth: There is no research to support vibration exercise
Fact: Actually, more and more research is coming out every month in peer reviewed journals showing the positive effects of vibration therapy. In addition, research is being conducted at various North American universities, medical colleges and chiropractic colleges. The positive benefits seen in clinical practice is increasing the interest of the research community.
Myth: All vibration machines are the same.
Fact: As with any therapeutic modality, it is important to do your research into assessing which machine is the right one for you. Safety is extremely important, in addition to understanding that you are getting a consistent dose of exercise every time. Smaller, cheaper machines may not care about limiting lateral motion, which increases shearing forces on the joints. The primary point is that you get what you pay for. It’s important to assess how you will be using it in your practice, who you will be using it on and whether you require a high commercial use for high volume use or something smaller for occasional use.