These 1980’s Russian Olympic weight lifters were on to something…

Russia brought home five gold medals and eight overall medals for weightlifting in the 1980 Summer Olympics, completely dominating the event.  Russia’s secret was Whole Body Vibration or WBV, which they began experimenting with as far back as the 1960s.  Partially spurred on by the Space Race, Russia began working with new technologies for their cosmonauts- and soon found out it could help their Olympic weightlifters, too.

Training on a WBV machine stimulates bone regeneration, muscle strengthening, and coordination.  This is why we use Whole Body Vibration for our The Neuropathy Relief Center at HealthWorks patients.

In fact, recent studies have shown that WBV can help specifically with Peripheral Neuropathy Patients:

“Application of WBV enhanced muscles strength and balance in patients with diabetes type 2-induced peripheral neuropathy. The changes may be due to muscle tuning hypothesis and altered postural control strategies.”  Kordi Yoosefinejad et al. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders (2015) 14:45

One of the biggest challenges that Peripheral Neuropathy sufferers experience is a loss of balance.  It’s bad enough to feel constant pain and experience muscle wasting but falls become an even bigger problem as time progresses and patients become less and less able to maintain balance.

Falls must be taken seriously.  They’re a leading cause of death over the age of 75.  Even as young as 65, falls are the number one cause of accidental death.

“Falls are the leading cause of injury-related visits to emergency departments in the United States and the primary etiology of accidental deaths in persons over the age of 65 years. The mortality rate for falls increases dramatically with age in both sexes and in all racial and ethnic groups, with falls accounting for 70 percent of accidental deaths in persons 75 years of age and older.” GEORGE F. FULLER, COL, MC, USA, White House Medical Clinic, Washington, D.C.  Am Fam Physician. 2000 Apr 1;61(7):2159-2168.

Preventing falls with WBV therapy can make a huge difference for our Peripheral Neuropathy patients.  Patients in the WBV study received only 30-60 seconds of therapy twice per week and yet saw significant improvement in balance and coordination.  With the WBV therapy, they were able to measure increases in balance, muscle strength, and what they called “Timed Up & Go Test”.  Timed Up & Go is how quickly a person was able to stand from a seated position and walk three yards, turn around and walk back to their seat.

Mobility, balance, and strength improvement can be life changing for someone with Peripheral Neuropathy.  Our protocols at The Neuropathy Relief Center at HealthWorks go even further than the protocols used in the study.  First, we use WBV for a total of 20 minutes in the office, while working on some simple exercises to reinforce the body’s balance system.  Our expectation with patients is a permanent reduction in pain and a self-reported increase in balance after treatment is completed, typically 7-11 weeks.

Activation of circulation is another key benefit of WBV for Peripheral Neuropathy sufferers.  Peripheral neuropathy is a result of damage to the nerves. This damage is commonly caused by a lack of blood flow to the nerves in the hands and feet which cause the nerves to begin to degenerate due to lack of nutrient flow.

As the blood vessels that surround the nerves become diseased they shrivel up which causes the nerves to not get the nutrients to survive. When these nerves begin to “die” they cause the symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy:  balance problems, pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and many additional symptoms.

WBV will work to bring blood back to the hands and feet, slowly bringing to replenish nutrient supply to the nerves.  While on the WBC, your muscles will contract rhythmically which will encourage blood circulation. What’s more; while training, your capillaries will be enlarged, so blood even flows into the smallest capillaries. WBV Machines not only increases the number of functional red blood cells in the capillaries but also increases the presence of white blood cells. WBV Machines improves the delivery and removal of metabolic wastes in the blood by enhancing blood circulation. Waste products are removed more quickly and the body recovers more rapidly.

Here are just a few of the additional benefits of WBV:

  • Increase muscle strength
  • Increase flexibility
  • Increase muscle relaxation
  • Improvement of pelvic instability
  • Decrease cellulite
  • Prevention of osteoporosis: 33% increase in bone density!
  • Stress Reduction: WBV training has a positive effect on the production of hormones and neurotransmitters.
  • Improvement of Mobility
  • Pain reduction
  • Rheumatism & Arthritis: The vibrations of the WBV Machines are proven to help increase blood circulation and nutritional effects of the cartilage in the joints. This “pumping” of the fluid in the joints will dramatically increase flexibility and the range of motion.
  • Lymph drainage: WBV Machines reduces lymph edema by improving circulation to the lymphatic system, thereby helping remove waste and bacteria from the system more effectively than passive range of motion or electrical muscle stimulation.

We’d love to talk to you more about how WBV can help you!  Give our office a call at 469-543-4193.

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