Vibration exercise study finds some relief for fibromyalgia

May 29, 2014, Indiana University

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.

Explore further: Regular, moderate exercise does not worsen pain in people with fibromyalgia

Related Stories

Regular, moderate exercise does not worsen pain in people with fibromyalgia

May 2, 2013
For many people who have fibromyalgia, even the thought of exercising is painful. Yet a new study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center shows that exercise does not worsen the pain associated with the disorder and may even ...

Cold weather hits fibromyalgia sufferers hard

January 31, 2014
Cold temperatures, such as those gripping the Midwest over the past week, are tough on everybody. But for individuals with fibromyalgia, whose symptoms include chronic, widespread pain, the big freeze is especially difficult ...

Young people report worse fibromyalgia than older patients, study shows

October 26, 2013
It may seem counterintuitive, but young and middle-aged fibromyalgia patients report worse symptoms and poorer quality of life than older patients, a Mayo Clinic study shows. Fibromyalgia most often strikes women. It is characterized ...

Nurse tests fibromyalgia therapy

May 29, 2014
Lynn Baniak crosses her arms when she gets anxious. What does she have to be anxious about?

Fibromyalgia prevalence at 2.1 percent of general German population

February 19, 2013
Researchers have determined that fibromyalgia prevalence is 2.1% of the general population in Germany. Results appearing in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology ...

Fatigue not a factor in fibromyalgia pain, study says

April 26, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Poor sleep is not a significant predictor of pain intensity and duration in patients with fibromyalgia, a new study says.

Recommended for you

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.