Do Whole Body Vibration Machines Actually Help Develop Healthy Bones?
The bones of your body are living tissue that require daily movement and exercise to remain healthy. Other than traditional exercise, what else is out there? A handful of us believe there are machines which can be used to make our bones stronger. But where do we look for them?
The Daily Stress Stimulus Theory
This theory states that daily stress stimulus on your bones can help to achieve bone gain. In addition, it says that a high cycle number and low magnitude stimulation may be be just enough for maintaining bone mass. And strain frequency may be an additional factor critical to the process of bone adaptation.
The Daily Stress Stimulus Theory, have lead to the popularisation of Whole Body Vibration Machines. These devices work as is: you stand on something that looks like a weight scale. The Whole Body Vibration Machine then delivers vibrations in a combination of intensity and speed. These vibrations make your muscles work, and improve your bone strength as a result.
But studies looking at the effects of Whole Body Vibration on bone health among older adults and postmenopausal women form an uncertain opinion.
The Research: Whole Body Vibration Machines
Studies reportedly discovered suggesting that Whole Body Vibration may represent an effective non-pharmacological intervention for preventing a decline in bone mass density (BMD) or for increasing or maintaining BMD in populations with below-normal BMD or osteoporosis.
One of these studies published in the Journal of Bone Mineral Research looked to assess the musculoskeletal effects of high-frequency loading (vibrations) by means of Whole Body Vibration in postmenopausal women.
The results displayed no vibration-related side effects. But more interestingly, they found that the vibrations improved isometric and dynamic muscle strength, and also significantly increased BMD of the hip.
Their findings recommended that Whole Body Vibration training may be a feasible and effective way to modify risk factors for falls and fractures in older women.
Yet, another study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders aimed to compare the effects of Whole Body Vibration on bone mineral density and balance in postmenopausal women.
The results of the study showed that after 8 months, BMD at the femoral neck in the Whole Body Vibration group increased by 4.3% compared to a group that exercised by walking alone.
Balance was improved in the Whole Body Vibration group by 29% compared to the walking group. These results advised that the 8-month course of vibratory exercise was feasible and more effective than only walking to improve two major determinants of bone fractures: hip BMD and balance.
Further, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE) reviewed the available research on the effectiveness of Whole Body Vibration on muscle performance, functional mobility, balance and bone density. The results showed that Whole Body Vibration machines did indeed improve bone density in the tibia and hip, but not in the lumbar spine.
Will Whole Body Vibration Therapy Help Your Bones If You Have Osteoporosis?
If you’re open to trying a Whole Body Vibration Machine, you need consider the pros and cons:
Whole Body Vibration therapy may be beneficial as part of a falls prevention program, and studies discussed above did discover that Whole Body Vibration provided some benefit for bone density.
However, vibrations may be detrimental to the spinal bones if they are very fragile. If you have very severe osteoporosis, you’d need to be careful when using a Whole Body Vibration Machine, and also when getting on and off.
And based on the an assortment of results reported in the literature, we’re reluctant to conclude that Whole Body Vibration would be beneficial for everyone.
That’s why it’s really essential to discuss consult your doctor or physiotherapist prior to using a Whole Body Vibration Machine.
Increasing Bone Density – What Actually Works?
Researchers have an assortment of opinions and there isn’t a clear answer about the effectiveness of Whole Body Vibration, yet. However, we’re excited to see what new research uncovers. But for now, consider sticking to clinically proven answers
That obviously includes incorporating weight bearing exercise suitable for your fitness level. It can be as simple as a nice walk, yoga or tennis. Furthermore, it also means eating a diet that is highly nutritious, taking care of your gut health to aid proper absorption.
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