Though Fibromyalgia (FM) affects roughly 5 million Americans, mostly women age 18 and older (according to National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases [NIAMS]) it’s still a largely misunderstood and often undiagnosed disease. For those with fibro, some of the most effective treatments can be a focus on maintaining good overall health with diet and exercise as well as adjunct therapies like massage and other bodywork modalities to help to keep fibromyalgia (FM) symptoms in check. Now, more and more research is showing that whole body vibration (WBV) is an effective way to help those suffering from FM.
What is fibromyalgia?
Scientists don’t fully understand what causes fibromyalgia. Although its onset is often linked to some sort of physical or emotional trauma such as a car accident or surgery, it can also occur with no obvious or observable reason, causing scientists to speculate that genetics may play a role. The Mayo Clinic defines Fibromyalgia as a “disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.”
Other symptoms can include irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, numbness or tingling in feet and hands, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, making life with FM very difficult at times. Although there is no known cure for fibro, medications are often prescribed to help manage it. Because of its multifaceted array of symptoms it can be difficult to treat. Those suffering from FM are always looking for new ways to get relief and improve the quality of their lives.
WBV and fibromyalgia: studies show a reduction in pain and increased balance
Findings from a six-week study conducted by the Laboratory of Biomechanics, INEF-Exercise and Sport Sciences School, University of Barcelona, Spain revealed that pain and fatigue were significantly reduced for women with FM in the test group that supplemented their exercise routine with WBV. The group that just did exercise did not have significant reduction of pain or fatigue.
Similarly, another six-week study by the Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Seville, Spain found that incorporating WBV into a traditional exercise regime improved balance, as measured in terms of the Medio-Lateral Stability Index (MLSI), in postmenopausal women with FM. The study states that this could have a significant impact on fall prevention. These results mirror those found in similar studies for those with other autoimmune disorders like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Lupus as well as Parkinson’s and those recovering from hip replacement surgery.
WBV: A great choice for managing fibromyalgia
For those suffering from fibromyalgia this is great news. WBV is a form of passive exercise placing little demand on coordination, flexibility or stamina. By supplementing a light exercise routine with WBV, fibromyalgia patients can get relief from pain and fatigue while building muscle and improving balance, ultimately leading to an overall improvement in their quality of life.
In addition, for those who don’t like to take medications, WBV is a good alternative, and requires very little time commitment: the standard time for WBV to show results is 2 to 3 times per week, 10 to 12 minutes per workout.
Give us a call at 503-233-9030 or come on in to see if WBV can help you with your fibro pain and fatigue.