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Whole Body Vibration

What Is It?

Whole body vibration is a relatively new concept in Physiotherapy and is implemented through the use of a vibrating platform on which exercises can be performed. Whole Body Vibration works by eliciting reflexes in our muscle spindles that enables our muscle to activate up to 2 ½ times more effectively. Normally a conscious muscle contraction activates only 40% of a muscle’s fibres; when the contraction is stimulated via the stretch reflex 100% of the muscle fibres are contracting. Whole Body Vibration also activates joint receptors to supply increased information about body position and state of posture.

Is there Evidence to support the use of Whole Body Vibration?

YES! Whole body Vibration has been proven to:

  1. Reduced chonic low back pain (Rittweger, 2002).
  2. Improved Muscular strength, flexibility, proprioception (joint sense), balance and postural control (Fontana et al 2005, Kawanabe et al 2007, Cochrane et al 2005, Turbanski et al 2005).
  3. Improved bone mineral density as the vibrations cause compression and remodeling of the bone tissue in post menopausal women (Mahieu et al 2006).
  4. Whole body vibration has been shown to prevent falls in the elderly (Roelants et al 2004, Bautmans et al 2005, Bogaerts et al 2007,). Gusi et al (2006) found whole body vibration to be more effective than walking in reducing the risk of fracture from a fall.
  5. Improved Pelvic Floor function (Heide, von der, et al 2003)
  6. Better Muscle contractions (contracted 2 ½ times more efficiently)  (Lamont et al. 2006; Cormie et al 2006; Bosco et al. 1999, 2000; Rittweger, 2001, 2002; Abercromby et al. 2005)

This means More Results in Less Time!… Ask Your Physio if this could benefit you!

Is it Safe?

As powerful and dramatic as Whole Body Vibration training may sound, it is designed in a way to be very safe for all ages (Kawanabe (2007) tested it on those aged up to 86 years!). It’s easy to use and can be set to very low levels of stimulation for beginners. Whole body vibration is not for everyone and is contraindicated for pregnancy, recent fractures/joint surgery/implants, epilepsy, acute thrombosis, acute hernia, pacemaker, cancer and recent infections. Ask your physio…

How long does it take for Whole Body Vibration to show results?

Each session only takes between 10-15 minutes to complete. Great results are shown to occur from 6 weeks exercising at least 2 times per week. Imagine performing 10,000 muscle contractions in one session.  10-minutes is all the time it takes to quickly warm-up your whole body, exercise the areas you want to improve, then cool down.

Sceptical? Don’t worry – so were we at first. Fortunately, there has been quite alot of good scientific evidence in the area of Whole Body Vibration which has demonstrated a proven effect.

NB: You will need to book at least one treatment session to be shown how to use the machine and to be given a tailored exercise program for your needs.  After that you can come and use the equipment, for a minimal fee, under the supervision of one of our Physiotherapists until your goals are reached.