Vibration exercise study finds some relief for fibromyalgia

May 29, 2014

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

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients

July 25, 2017
Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

Research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor and target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

July 24, 2017
Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with ...

Scientists propose novel therapy to lessen risk of obesity-linked disease

July 24, 2017
With obesity related illnesses a global pandemic, researchers propose in the Journal of Clinical Investigation using a blood thinner to target molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation in people eating high-fat ...

Raccoon roundworm—a hidden human parasite?

July 24, 2017
The raccoon that topples your trashcan and pillages your garden may leave more than just a mess. More likely than not, it also contaminates your yard with parasites—most notably, raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis).

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

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.