Scientists look at whole body vibration as a potential treatment for fibromyalgia

Whole body vibration exercise is an effective therapy for people with fibromyalgia, according to a study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. The study revealed that whole body vibration therapy can help improve fibromyalgia symptoms, such as pain, function, and depression.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain all over the body. It may also cause fatigue, muscle stiffness, sleeping difficulties, problems with mental process like memory and concentration, headaches, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

In the study, researchers from Uludag University in Bursa, Turkey looked at the effects of whole body vibration therapy in people with fibromyalgia. They recruited 20 fibromyalgia patients aged 57 and older. They randomly divided the participants into two groups: the intervention and the control group. The intervention group performed six various types of exercises combined with 30 hertz (Hz) frequency; while the control group performed the same exercises on the same platform, but without vibration.

The researchers evaluated all participants at the beginning of the study, at the third month, and at the sixth month using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).

The results revealed that participants with fibromyalgia who underwent whole body vibration therapy experienced improvements at the sixth month, according to the results of the FIQ.

The researchers concluded that whole body vibration therapy could effectively reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia.

How does whole body vibration work?

With whole body vibration, you will stand, sit, or lie on a machine with a vibrating platform. As the machine vibrates, it sends energy to the body, which in turn, forces the muscles to contract and relax dozens of times every second. This will make you feel as if you are exerting the force yourself. Whole body vibration has also been found to be beneficial in several health conditions, such as:

  • Obesity: With whole body vibration, the vibrations boosts the metabolic rate, leading to an increased caloric burn.
  • Pain-related conditions: Whole body vibration reduces pain in the same way massage does. It interrupts the pain information, which enters the spinal cord through the stimulation of skin thermoreceptors and mechanoreceptors. The vibrations produced by whole body vibration machines will stimulate or soothe the nervous system. The effects will vary, depending on the amplitude and frequency applied.
  • Rheumatism and arthritis: People suffering from rheumatism and arthritis may find relief in whole body vibration. The vibrations will improve blood flow and nutritional effects of the cartilage in the joints. As a result, flexibility and the range of motion in the joints will increase. It will relieve the extremely painful stiffness in and around the joints.
  • Stress: Whole body vibration therapy is also a great stress reliever. It can reduce tension and stress in the body because of its positive effect on the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. The massaging effect of the vibrations promotes a rise in dopamine and serotonin levels, suggesting a decrease in stress levels and depression.
  • Lymphedema: Whole body vibration can reduce lymphedema by improving circulation to the lymphatic system. This, in turn, helps eliminate waste and bacteria from the system effectively.
  • Whole body vibration is a great way to enhance flexibility and range of motion, while strengthening muscles and balance. (Related: Whole body vibration exercise, previously used for disease management, found to be effective at improving the physical condition of athletes as well.)

Read more news stories and studies on non-drug disease treatments by going to

Sources include:

comments powered by Disqus