Vibration exercise study finds some relief for fibromyalgia

A pilot study by Indiana University researchers found that whole-body vibration exercise may reduce pain symptoms and improve aspects of quality of life in individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

"Our findings are promising, but it is not entirely clear whether these improvements were the result of added vibration or just the effects of being more active," said lead author Tony Kaleth, associate professor in the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

"Effects of whole-body vibration exercise on physical function and pain severity in patients with fibromyalgia" will be discussed at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday during the clinical populations session of the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Regular exercise participation is one of the best known therapies for patients with , a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Many patients, however, are averse to participating over fears of pain that may be associated with increased physical activity. As a result, said Kaleth, many patients continue to spiral downward, further exacerbating a sedentary lifestyle that often leads to a worsening of symptoms.

"Over time, this can lead to additional weight gain, as well as accompanying associated with obesity, such as , and type 2 diabetes," he said.

Whole-body vibration exercise involves standing, sitting or lying on a machine with a vibrating platform that causes muscles to contract and relax as the machine vibrates. The machines primarily are used by researchers but have begun appearing in fitness centers and are sold commercially.

"Vibration training is increasingly being studied in clinical populations as a potential therapeutic mode of exercise training," Kaleth said. "Although the results are largely equivocal and in need of further study, studies have reported improvements in strength, muscle spasticity and in select populations."

Fibromyalgia, which has no cure, is primarily diagnosed in women and may also involve difficulties with sleep, memory and mood. The disorder affects an estimated 1-3 percent of the population.

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Lloyd Shaw
not rated yet May 30, 2014
I find this description very misleading. And I believe it has been paraphrased off a marketing site..

" Whole-body vibration exercise involves standing, sitting or lying on a machine with a vibrating platform that causes muscles to contract and relax as the machine vibrates ".

The fact is...

Training / exercise machines.
Training / exercise poses.
Physio machines and physio poses.

..are separate categories.
The ONLY time I have ever seen the classifications mixed up is when a dodgy sales company is trying to flog off the line " just stand here and wobble the fat off , wobble the pain away , wobble and grow bone etc etc....... "

Mixed research.... Yes hundreds of studies done on fake machines, with fake engineering specifications and fake positions and fake experts . = mixed / useless results

Lloyd Shaw
not rated yet May 30, 2014
Please note : Vibration Training is only a form of exercise or physio depending on what your aims are. So matching up the correct equipment with the correct form is kind of essential. Some would say common sense.

It is almost criminal some of these studies where allowed. Because even the positive ones were not replicable due to lack of proper descriptions / photos / categories on the studies.

Sorry. This article does nothing to help the science. At best it is a feel good piece designed to produce more useless data and waste future grant money.

Lloyd Shaw
not rated yet May 31, 2014
Conflict of interest / full disclosure... I am a designer. Of vibration workout and physio equipment. And have torn my hair out more than once reading some of these "studies"
I do not retail machines to the public or gyms. And my lack of confidence is the education of the correct usage of these products. Is deepening every year. I do not think I will ever retail because the lack of education equals unethical risk.

Yes these machines can do more harm than good if used incorrectly.
Thanks to the combination of unethical marketers and lazy academics. We have gone backwards in the last 10 years.