Vibration therapy : Osteopenia, Osteoporosis

Vibration therapy Is it effective treatment for Osteopenia or Osteoporosis?

For several years there have been machines on the market that vibrate your body and the manufacturers claim that this vibration will stimulate bone growth. The machines arenot cheap and some readers have wanted to know just how effective this new Osteopenia, Osteoporosis treatment is.

I have been reading the research studies on this topic for several years. Here are the latest updates for scientific studies of Vibration therapy treatment.

  • An important study was published in June of 2011 "A Randomized Controlled Trial of Whole Body Vibration Exposure on Markers of Bone Turnover in Postmenopausal Women". The authors, mostly from Universities in Australia state: "We have shown for the first time that low-frequency, low-magnitude vibration 3×/week for eight weeks in postmenopausal women results in a significant reduction in NTx/Cr, a marker of bone resorption, when compared with sham vibration exposure".

    To read this important study, click Vibration therapy :new study

  • In July 2009, a study was published "Effect of whole body vibration exercise on osteoporotic risk factors" authored by von Stengel, Kemmler, Mayer, Engelke, Klarner, and Kalender of the Institut für Medizinische Physik, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.

    It compared multifunctional training alone (dancing aerobics, balance training, functional strength training and leg strength exercises) with multifunctional training + leg strengthening exercises on vibrational platforms. After one year, the researches summarized their conclusions.

    They found that The multifunctional training resulted in a gain of BMD at the lumbar spine. Vibration training did not enhance the effect on bone but significantly reduced falls. So in this study the vibration platform did NOT enhance bone density but it did reduce the likelihood of falling - something that is important for those hoping to reduce their risk of hip fracture.

  • Another study of Vibration therapy was published in the China Medical Journal 2008 Jul 5. "Effects of vibration therapy on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis" by Ruan XY, Jin FY, Liu YL, Peng ZL, Sun YG. of the Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

    Here is the ABSTRACT of this study of Vibration therapy:

    BACKGROUND: Jaw osteonecrosis possibly associated with the administration of bisphosphonates is expected to be treated with a non-pharmacologic approach. This study aimed to determine whether noninvasive, mechanically mediated vibration would inhibit the decline in bone mineral density (BMD) that follows menopause, enhance the BMD of the lumbar and femoral neck, and reduce chronic back pain in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

    METHODS: A total of 116 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis participated in this study, and they were divided into groups A (66 patients) and B (50).

    Group A received vibration treatment (Subjects vertically stand on the vibration platform, with a vibration frequency of 30 Hz, amplitude of 5 mm; they received the treatment five times per week, ten minutes each time and totally for six months), whereas women of group B served as controls without any treatment. L2 - 4 BMD, bilateral femoral neck BMD, and body mass index (BMI) were recorded before the treatment or at the third and sixth months of the treatment respectively. After the ending of the treatment, the change of BMD in each group was compared and analyzed. Chronic back pain was evaluated by visual analogue scale (VAS) at baseline and the third and sixth months of the treatment.

    RESULTS: Of the 116 women, 94 including 51 women from group A (age 61.23 +/- 8.20) years and 43 women from group B (age 63.73 +/- 5.45 years), completed the study.

    There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics including age, BMI, menopausal years, lumbar BMD, femoral neck BMD, and VAS between the two groups.

    Lumbar spine: (In the course of the study) The lumbar BMD of the 51 women in group A increased by 1.3% (P = 0.034) after vibration treatment for 3 months and by 4.3% at the sixth month (P = 0.000). The lumbar BMD in group B was decreased at the third month, but there was not statistical significance (P > 0.05). At the sixth month, it was decreased by 1.9% (P < 0.05).

    The femoral neck BMD of the 51 women in group A was slightly increased after vibration treatment for 3 months, but without statistical significance (P > 0.05). At the sixth month, the BMD was increased by 3.2% (P < 0.05).

    In group B, the BMD was not decreased significantly (P = 0.185) at the third month, but decreased significantly at the sixth month (1.7%) (P < 0.05) compared with the baseline.

    Chronic back pain (VAS) reduced more significantly in group A at the third and the sixth months (P < 0.05) after vibration therapy in comparison with the baseline. The BMI was not significantly changed in the two groups during the period of follow-up.

    CONCLUSIONS: Vibration therapy appears to be useful in reducing chronic back pain and increasing the femoral neck and lumbar BMD in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

    More Vibration therapy studies

    3. J Bone Miner Res. 2004 Mar;19(3):352-9. Effect of 6-month whole body vibration training on hip density, muscle strength, and postural control in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled pilot study. Verschueren SM, Roelants M, Delecluse C, Swinnen S, Vanderschueren D, Boonen S. Laboratory of Motor Control, Department of Kinesiology, Faculteit Lichamelijke Opvoeding en Kinesitherapie, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium.

    High-frequency mechanical strain seems to stimulate bone strength in animals. In this randomized controlled trial, hip BMD was measured in postmenopausal women after a 24-week whole body vibration (WBV) training program. Vibration training significantly increased BMD of the hip. These findings suggest that WBV training might be useful in the prevention of osteoporosis.

    INTRODUCTION: High-frequency mechanical strain has been shown to stimulate bone strength in different animal models. However, the effects of vibration exercise on the human skeleton have rarely been studied. Particularly in postmenopausal women-who are most at risk of developing osteoporosis-randomized controlled data on the safety and efficacy of vibration loading are lacking. The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to assess the musculoskeletal effects of high-frequency loading by means of whole body vibration (WBV) in postmenopausal women. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventy volunteers (age, 58-74 years) were randomly assigned to a whole body vibration training group (WBV, n = 25), a resistance training group (RES, n = 22), or a control group (CON, n = 23). The WBV group and the RES group trained three times weekly for 24 weeks. The WBV group performed static and dynamic knee-extensor exercises on a vibration platform (35-40 Hz, 2.28-5.09g), which mechanically loaded the bone and evoked reflexive muscle contractions. The RES group trained knee extensors by dynamic leg press and leg extension exercises, increasing from low (20 RM) to high (8 RM) resistance. The CON group did not participate in any training. Hip bone density was measured using DXA at baseline and after the 6-month intervention. Isometric and dynamic strength were measured by means of a motor-driven dynamometer. Data were analyzed by means of repeated measures ANOVA.

    RESULTS: No vibration-related side effects were observed. Vibration training improved isometric and dynamic muscle strength (+15% and + 16%, respectively; p < 0.01) and also significantly increased BMD of the hip (+0.93%, p < 0.05). No changes in hip BMD were observed in women participating in resistance training or age-matched controls (-0.60% and -0.62%, respectively; not significant). Serum markers of bone turnover did not change in any of the groups.

    CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that WBV training may be a feasible and effective way to modify well-recognized risk factors for falls and fractures in older women and support the need for further human studies.

    If you wish to read more scientific studies, go to Additional Vibration therapy studies

    Note: All abstracts are taken from PubMed index.