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Could the Secret to Pain Management Lie in Shaking Things Up?

What Promise Does Whole-body Vibration Hold for Pain Sufferers?

Wondering how to fight back against ongoing pain? While there are many options suited to different patients, one is shaking things up both literally and figuratively. Whole-body vibration is nothing new to those who view it as a type of comprehensive exercise, but for some pain sufferers, it might just hold the key to lasting relief. Here's how.

Whole-body Vibration Explained

Whole-body vibration is a form of exercise involving a machine that shakes people with a vibrating platform. As the device gyrates and jostles, the user's muscles react by contracting and relaxing, and this can produce a sensation of ongoing exertion.

Proponents of this type of activity have long touted its benefits. For example, it may increase muscle strength by placing the body under continuous pressure to work itself. Other potential benefits might include improved circulation and reduced muscle soreness following exercise.

There's as yet no definitive word on whether workout buffs can ditch their more strenuous training routines in favor of standing around for a quick 15-minute shake session once every few days. At the same time, research suggests that it's a good weight control option when employed in combination with dietary modification and other forms of activity.

The Potential Pain Relief Aspect

One of the most interesting aspects of this unconventional workout regimen lies in its purported ability to relieve certain kinds of pain. Research published in 2014 by Indiana University, for instance, found that some fibromyalgia suffers gained relief from participating in clinician-guided whole-body vibration workouts. This study was particularly noteworthy because fibromyalgia is associated with chronic pain and has no cure.

Some savvy medical consumers may point to earlier research published in Physiotherapy Canada and anecdotal observations that show ties between occupational vibration and pain symptoms. For instance, people who work with vibrating machinery for long hours may experience lower back pain. Even considering these connections, however, researchers noted that the links between vibration and pain causation were largely present at specific vibrational frequencies.

What should pain patients make of these seemingly at-odds viewpoints? The key takeaway, which most researchers readily admit, is that effective whole-body vibration pain treatments should be undertaken with professional supervision and guidance. Since everything from the speed and magnitude of the vibration to the type of shaking motion and the duration of sessions can impact the efficacy of such treatment, it's important to work with someone who knows what they're doing and understands your specific case history.

The Current Verdict on Whole-body Vibration and Pain

Like all other pain management techniques, whole-body vibration has the most potential when it takes place in a clinical setting with specialized support. In other words, rushing out to buy an exercise machine that looks like it can thoroughly shake someone up is never going to be as effective as talking to a professional caregiver.

Want to learn more about creating a comprehensive pain management regimen with or without whole-body vibration? Chat with one of our specialists about the options today.