When we refer to a condition as “chronic”, we define an disease that is long-lasting and has no known cure.
In this category of chronic diseases we can include:
According to the CDC, about half of Americans unfortunately suffer from at least one chronic disease, these ailments being responsible for 7/10 deaths in the United States and the leading cause of disability and death in the U.S. as well.
In those aged 65 years and older, the popularity of chronic diseases is even higher, statistics showing that 88% of Americans over the age of 65 have at least one chronic disease.
Additionally, data from the World Health Organization displays that globally, chronic diseases cause twice as many deaths as infectious diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis or malaria, combined with nutritional deficiencies and perinatal conditions.
Moreover, statistics display that 80% of all the deaths caused by chronic diseases happen in low and middle income countries, women being more affected than others.
What Actually Causes Chronic Conditions?
One of the main factors is a damaging lifestyle with behaviors such as tobacco and alcohol use, poor eating habits or the lack of physical activity contribute to the occurrence of chronic conditions. Regardless, the causes may vary from one disease to another.
Arthritis for example can be caused by injuries (osteoarthritis), but as well by metabolic abnormalities, genes, infections – both bacterial and viral, or by autoimmune conditions in which the body mistakenly attacks its healthy cells.
Arthritis and related diseases affect around 43 million Americans, and can also interfere with one’s ability to accomplish daily tasks, as it affects the joints, causing stiffness, swelling, pain and reduced flexibility.
Diabetes, an increasingly common chronic ailment, occurs when there’s an insufficient production of insulin, or when the body is unable to process insulin properly. People with diseases of the pancreas or with certain infections, those with high blood pressure, obese and overweight individuals, those with elevated levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as people with sedentary lifestyles are more likely to develop diabetes.
This disease affects more than 20% of people aged 65 years and older, type 2 diabetes being more common than type 1.
Obesity may not seem like a threatening condition, but it is actually considered a chronic ailment, and the percentage of adults affected by obesity has doubled in the past 30 years. Obese individuals are at higher risk for high blood pressure and heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and some forms of cancer.
Stroke is more likely to occur in individuals with high blood pressure, in those with high levels of bad cholesterol, in diabetes sufferers and people who smoke, the most common cause of stroke being the formation of blood clots that block arteries in the brain.
When a blood vessel becomes blocked, that part of the brain is no longer supplied with blood and oxygen, thus the tissue start to die and the body parts controlled by those cells stop working as well.
Chronic Respiratory Diseases like COPD for example, appear more routinely in people who live in areas with increased air pollution, in those who are exposed to chemical substances and pollutants at work, in tobacco users, people with a history of childhood pneumonia and in those who work in unventilated kitchens.
Chronic Conditions That Can Be Improved through Whole Body Vibration
Unfortunately, not all chronic conditions can be improved with Whole Body Vibration Therapy; each of these ailments requires a specific approach, as the symptoms are different, but there are some chronic ailments that can benefit from Whole Body Vibration Therapy, and we’ll list them here.
Rheumatoid arthritis patients can improve their functional ability, meaning the ability to perform basic activities such as shopping, dressing, bathing or housework, through daily Whole Body Vibration Training. 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, Whole Body Vibration Therapy helps reduce fatigue and in maintaining the bone mass density, while the control group saw a decrease in the hip bone mineral density.
In osteoarthritis patients, Whole Body Vibration Training completed three times per week, for 12 weeks, can reduce inflammation, improving gait quality and balance and reducing pain.
In diabetes patients, Whole Body Vibration can be a great solution for enhancing skin blood flow and improving the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Low-frequency, low-amplitude vibration was discovered to increase circulation in individuals affected by this condition, being a safe treatment for diabetes sufferers who can’t practice regular forms of physical activity.
Furthermore, Whole Body Vibration Machine exercises can also be helpful in patients with COPD, Dutch researchers showing that 15 minutes of Whole Body Vibration daily, done after 15 minutes of aerobic exercises, can improve the maximum exercise capacity and the walking distance test results, contributing to a better pulmonary capacity and quality of life.
Patients affected by Parkinson’s disease (PD) can also benefit from Whole Body Vibration Therapy, studies showing that this form of physical activity can lead to improvements in postural control and motor symptoms in PD sufferers.
In stroke recovery, Whole Body Vibration Training can help in improving postural control and muscle performance. In addition, it’s been found that in patients with spinal cord injuries, exercising on a vibrating platform can improve the gait speed more efficiently than body-weight supported treadmill training.
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