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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 BMD or bone structure in postmenopausal women who received calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

Weight-Bearing Stress Causes Bones to Get Stronger

Osteoporosis is a skeletal system disease characterized by low bone density and deterioration of bone tissue. The idea behind whole-body vibration 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, 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."
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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