Therapeutic Uses of Whole-body Vibration Training

In the therapeutic setting whole body vibration training has been used for people who have multiple sclerosis. People with multiple sclerosis often have problems with muscle strength and coordination. The use of whole body vibration training is increasingly being utilized for people with this condition.

Use of the VibraSlim power plate is beneficial for people who lack strength and coordination such as those with multiple sclerosis because it only uses body weight as resistance. The participant can simply stand on the power plate and maintain a squat position to get an effective workout. So how would whole body vibration training work for this population? First we need to understand what muscle spindles are; muscle spindles are receptor organs located in the belly of the muscle. They detect changes in muscle length. If your muscle is stretched too far it causes the muscle to contract. The vibrations from vibration training stimulate the muscle spindles. Since the muscle spindles are activated we get plenty of muscle contractions which can help increase strength and muscle growth. In two studies on the use of whole body vibration training on those with multiple sclerosis the experimenters saw strength and mobility improvement. This makes vibration training seem like a viable alternative or at least a supplement to a resistance and endurance training program.

A study on multiple sclerosis and whole body vibration training with various degrees of vibration intensity discovered this, “The change in muscle strength during the WBV-light condition, although not significant, as found with post-hoc tests, was larger than expected, which may be explained by the fact that the addition of the damping mat may have induced some imbalance that had to be additionally controlled during the exercises. As such, additional muscle activation could have been needed to be able to perform the exercises, leading to increases in muscle strength not related to the (lower) vibration stimulus” (Claerbout “et al” 503). This suggests that while low level vibrations may be beneficial higher oscillations are more beneficial. Quadriceps and hamstrings muscle strength in the whole body vibration group showed marked improvement over the control group whereas the full whole body vibration group showed greater improvements in strength when compared to the light full body vibration group. These studies suggest that whole body vibration training could be a valuable tool in improving quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis

-Justin Kompf VibraSlim Fitness

Claerbout, M., Gebara, B., Ilsbroukx, S., Verschueren, S., Peers, K., Van Asch, P., & Feys, P. (2012). Effects of 3 weeks’ whole body vibration training on muscle strength and functional mobility in hospitalized persons with multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England), 18(4), 498-505.

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