Flexibility And Lower Back Pain (LBP)
Vibration Training (VT) helps to stretch muscles and achieve results faster than conventional stretching methods. In one clinical study performed over 4 weeks with 3 sessions a week, flexibility was increased by 14% in the conventional method group versus 30% in the VT group (9).
The benefits of VT have been demonstrated in healthy joints and in rehabilitating injured ones. VT helps to re- establish balance and increase strength in ankles and knee joints that have suffered injury. It is not only safe to rehabilitate injured joints but increases the speed of balance, strength and recovery.
In one clinical study comparing VT with conventional methods for the treatment of LBP, the results showed equal results in pain reduction. Exercises on the vibration platform involved bending in the sagittal and frontal planes, slow movements of the hips and waist and rotation in the horizontal plane. The pain reduction was not only equal to conventional methods but, was significantly decreased on a visual analogue scale (p< 0.001), Friedman‟s Test. The author‟s conclusion was “well controlled vibration may be the cure rather than the cause of lower back pain” (2).
It is a concern that long-term vibration causes injuries. These injuries are documented in workplace situations.
These injuries are the result of hours of vibration and occur over 10-20-year period. This does not mean VT is harmful. VT involves short duration training sessions and there has not been a case where there was any injury recorded in any clinical trial to date. This is especially true for side-to-side oscillating vibration platforms because this platform simulates human gait (walk). In human gait all vibrations involved in high impact exercises like running and jumping are cushioned in a natural manner by the legs, pelvis, lower back and waist. The same type of cushioning cannot be claimed by linear (up/down) platforms.
The LBP study shows that VT is beneficial to pain relating to LBP and it has been shown to benefit pain with MS sufferers.
VAN DEN TILAAR, R. Will whole body vibration training help increase the range of motion of the hamstrings? J. Strength Cond. 20(1): 192-196. 2006.
RITTWEGER, J., K. JUST, K. KAUTZSCH, P. REEG, D. FELSENBERG. Treatment of chronic lower back pain with lumbar extension and whole-body vibration exercise: a randomised control trial. Spine. Sep 1; 27(17): 1829-1834. 2002.