Vibration Training, Balance and Stroke Rehabilitation

Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is where a person stands on a platform or plate that produces sinusoidal oscillations. In simple terms – it vibrates the entire body.

The vibration pattern may be in a vertical up and down motion or one that rotates about a centre fulcrum producing up and down vertical motion on alternating sides of the fulcrum. The vibrations stimulate the muscle spindles and initiate muscle contractions.

Of interest to all patients of The Spinal Centre, there is emerging evidence on the impact of vibration training in terms of balance. This is of good new to athletes, the elderly and in particular those who have had a Stroke.

Whole body vibration produces improvements in balance. Impaired balance is a common problem for stroke patients, and is emerging as a new modality for physical therapy.

As little as 3 minutes per day of vibration treatment can results in the elderly maintaining their balance ability and reduce the risk of falls. Studies have found that 6 by 1 minute, 3 times a week of vibration training resulted in a 29% improvement in balance. These results can not only assist with the elderly but those with Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy and Stroke. The improvement in postural control in this condition where ankle proprioception input is disturbed might be related to the improvements in muscle strength and proprioception after vibration training.

Stoke Rehabilitation

Through the stimulation of the muscles from the vibrations, and depending on the activities we perform while standing on the machines, it is possible to improve muscle strength. Completing exercises that encourage muscle strength development such as leg exercises (squats, lunges, side leg lifts), seated exercises (core strength) and the utilisation of other equipment (Resistance bands, weighted balls) can all result in improved muscle strength of the whole which then helps to promote healthy joints and spine. It is important to maintain muscle strength and endurance to ensure we can prevent any injuries or flare ups from occurring.

Vibration training can also help to improve or maintain bone health. Research has found that by standing in a ¼ squat position on the Vibration machine for 6x1min bouts there was an increase in BMD in the femoral neck by 4.3% in post-menopausal women over 8 months of training. Therefore, completing a few exercises on the Vibration machines can be a beneficial intervention for osteoporosis as well as the maintaining levels as we age for any individual.

The Spinal Centre Comment:

We have being using Whole body Vibration (WBV) at the Clinic for may years with great results. Stretching, Strength Work, Core Stability, Pelvic Stability, Falls Prevention, Flexibility, Spinal Rehabilitation, Muscle Reactivation – it has got it all.

All patients in the Spinal Rehabilitation stream of Care warm up on the WBV plates before receiving Chiropractic care. As the research above shows, 3 minutes of vibration treatment can make a significant difference in balance and falls prevention. Especially for the elderly.

So…. Is your Chiropractor allowing you to warm up prior to corrections? Or are you being ‘adjusted cold’?

Do you have an integrated Spinal Rehabilitation and Traction Program, with mirror image exercises, stretching, core stability as part of your Chiropractic Program?

Perhaps it is time for a change to Corrective Care – Chiropractic BioPhyiscs.



Further Reading:

Whole Body Vibration


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