Whole-Body Vibration Therapy May Not Slow Down Osteoporosis

A recent 12-month study casts doubt on the benefits of Whole-Body Vibration (WBV) Therapy on slowing down the progress of osteoporosis. Published in the Annals of Medicine2 this month, showed no impact on bone changes when compared to non-Whole-Body Vibration Therapy; leading the researchers to conclude that for WBV Therapy for 12 months did not alter Bones Mineral Density (BMD) or bone structure in postmenopausal women who received calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

Weight-Bearing Stress Causes Bones to Get Stronger

osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a skeletal system disease characterized by low bone density and deterioration of bone tissue. The idea behind whole-body vibration (WBV) is quite simple. Weight-bearing physical activities such as walking and running stresses the bones. Similarly, WBV also aims to do the same. Stressing the bones causes bone-cells (osteocytes) to activate two other types of bone cells: osteoclasts, which remove damaged areas of bone; and osteoblasts, which form new bone. Thus, resulting in denser and stronger bones.

Low-Intensity Platforms for Osteoporosis Therapy

Another area of concern is that there is little market information separating Low-Intensity Platforms for Osteoporosis Therapy versus High Intensity Platforms for Fitness Exercise. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality2 in the United States have concluded that:

“Safety concerns emerged from key informant discussions, including unknown long-term harms from the use of whole-body vibration therapy, and the potential inability of consumers to clearly distinguish low-intensity platforms intended for osteoporosis therapy from platforms intended for high intensity exercise. Claims about whole-body vibration therapy for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis cannot be made without further research.”

– The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the United States

Apart from weight-bearing exercise, don’t neglect your calcium and Vitamin D.

Reference:

  1. Technical Brief: Whole Body Vibration Therapy for Osteoporosis, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S Dept of Health & Human Services
  2. Effect of 12 Months of Whole-Body Vibration Therapy on Bone Density and Structure in Postmenopausal Women, Annals of Internal Medicine, November 15, 2011 vol. 155 no. 10 668-679

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