Hip Surgery Post-Op: Improved Function with WBV

Hip replacement recoveryWith Tara’s mother recovering from her recent hip replacement surgery we’re looking forward to having her come for a visit and to helping her rehabilitation using our new Whole Body Vibration (WBV) machines.

Healing Faster with WBV

Though she is doing well in her healing process now, she is still very limited in her stamina and strength. For a vibrant woman like this, who loves to dance and walk, having hip issues was increasingly frustrating. Not only, because of the pain caused by her prior hip issues, but because her range of movement had deteriorated so much that she was no longer able to walk at all. (The doctors told her that her hip was bone grinding on bone! No wonder she couldn’t walk!)

Using these machines daily and helping others in their strengthening and toning, we know the power these babies wield but our evidence is not just anecdotal. Science has been studying WBV and it’s affects on conditioning and physical rehabilitation for quite some time now. Turns out, when it comes to WBV used on hip function post op – our home state of Oregon has the results.

Hip Replacement Surgery & WBV for Rehab

In an article published on Medscape, called Whole-Body Vibration Improves Function After Hip Replacement Surgery detailing the results of a 2009 study done here in Oregon, researchers reported finding that “the addition of whole-body vibration to a novel 24-week rehabilitation protocol after hip replacement surgery significantly improved functional performance, when compared with exercise alone.”

The results, presented at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) 56th Annual Meeting, were from a randomized trial done at Oregon State University, involved 27 patients (average age, 68 years) 1 to 3 years post-hip-surgery, and found that the 14 patients whose rehab involved whole-body vibration significantly outperformed the 13 patients who did the same exercises on a vibration platform that was not activated.

Patients in both intervention groups exercised twice a week, for 60 to 75 minutes per session, including lower body and core exercises, like step-ups, step-downs, Theraband-assisted abduction-adduction exercises, squats, lunges, and wall sits.

Each session also included 11 minutes of multi-directional treadmill walking (4 minutes forward, 2 minutes facing left, 2 minutes facing right, and 3 minutes backward) at speeds ranging from 0.9 to 4.2 miles an hour.


WBV: A Safe Exercise Alternative for Seniors

Head researcher on the project, Gianni Maddalozzo, pointed out that as the Baby Boomer population ages, osteoporosis and other related fractures are becoming an increasing problem with hip fracture being one of the most devastating complications of osteoporosis. “The bone heals itself – that’s not the issue,” Maddalozzo said. “The issue is increasing muscle mass, strength and balance with a workout program that is safe and practical.

Though animal trials do not always correlate perfectly with human results, Maddalozzo also notes that, “A number of animal studies, examining sheep, turkeys and rats, show that Whole Body Vibration treatment has a significant effect on bone formation and muscle mass.”

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