Osteopenia (mean low bone mass, not yet consider osteoporosis) and Osteoporosis, or bone demineralization, is a disorder where bones become fragile and therefore more likely to breaktimes. According to the National Osteoporosis foundation, 54 million Americans are at risk! And it is costly …about $20 billions every year.
Bone density is largely determined by genetic factors, yet environmental factors will influence the genetic predisposition greatly. It is measured as Bone Mineral Density (BMD).
An example factor is the fact that we ill lose significant bone mass in of outer space in a very short time. Other factors, such as exercise, nutrition prescription drugs and hormonal balance influence the amount of minerals in our bones.
Contrary to popular belief, bone is alive! In fact, it actually responds very well to vibration by becoming denser. Thus the prescription of weight bearing exercises for patients with osteoporosis! The direct vertical effect through such exercises with the indirect mechanical impact from stronger muscles acting on the bone stimulates the bone cells to deposit more minerals and firm up the bone tissue. (osteoblast effect)
The Whole body Vibration unit delivers a direct, vertical stimulus to the Skeletal structure of the user.
Wbv stimulates the cells responsible for producing a higher bone mass density.
Over the last several years several universities around the globe have done research on WBV as an effective tool in the battle against Osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Below is a recap of those findings:
1) A l-year randomized, double-blind" and placebo-controlled trial of 70 postmenopausal women demonstrated that short periods ( less than 20 minutes) of a low-level, high frequency (0.2A, 30 Hz) vibration applied during quiet standing can inhibit bone loss in the spine and femur by 0.93%
Dynamic muscle strength improved by over 16.1%!
The protocol was a short duration 2- l0 minute treatments/ day, low-magnitude, 3 mm 35Hz Vertical acceleration (vibration)
The importance of this study is the fact that WBV can become the non-invasive, mechanically mediated intervention for Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. It is a non-pharmacologic approach, based on stimulating bone physiology as a means of inhibiting the decline in Bone Mineral Density that follows menopause.
Verschueren, et al, .Journal of Bone and Mineral Research vol19, #3, 2004
2) This study was further substantiated by another study published in the same magazine. The researchers came to very similar conclusions concerning bone mass density. Not surprising, it was further established the best results were established with the patients that had the best compliance to the exercise protocols.
Rubin et al, Journal of Bone and mineral Research, Vol.19, Number 3, 2004
3) In another study, the best results in transmitting the vibration through bone were achieved at lower frequencies, as bone transmission of vibration is better at those settings. Best results yet were achieved at 20 Hz, 80% of those results at 25 Hz. The best transmission of vibration through the bone was when standing in an erect posture, whereas bending the knees decreased the efficiency of the transmission by 70%!
The importance of this study is the fact that WBV produces a very powerful stimulus to the bone that may indeed prove to have significant bone growth effects!
Spine, Volume 28, # 25, 2003
4) A fourth study measured the effects of WBV on muscular strength and BMD in the hip against 2 control groups. One group did no exercise; the other group did knee extensor exercises.
The WBV group performed static and dynamic knee-extensor exercises on a vibration platform (35-40 Hz, 2.28-5.09g), which was shown to mechanically load the bone and evoke reflexive muscle contractions.
The group working out with Vibration training improved isometric and dynamic muscle strength by15% and also significantly increased BMD of the hip by 0.93%.
Laboratory of Motor Control, Department of Kinesiology, “Faculteit Lichamelijke Opvoeding en Kinesitherapie, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium”.
5) In a fifth study, the results showed that short bouts (10 minutes daily at 35 Hz) of extremely low-level mechanical signals, several orders of magnitude below that associated with vigorous exercise, increased bone and muscle mass in the weight-bearing skeleton of young adult females with low BMD. A 3.9% increase in cancellous bone of the spine, 2.9% increase in cortical bone of the femur and 7.2% increase in the musculature of the spine was achieved.
Should these musculoskeletal enhancements be preserved through adulthood, this intervention may prove to be a deterrent to osteoporosis in the elderly.
Department of Radiology, Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90027, USA.
Therefore an exercise protocol for osteoporosis should include the following exercises:
1) 10 minutes, 2x/day, standing erect at 20Hz!!
2) Static and dynamic strengthening of the lower extremities, particularly the knee extensors, at 35-40 Hz.
Previously, medical research has shown weight-bearing exercise to be the treatment of choice for Osteopenia and osteoporosis. WBV technology with it’s rapid acceleration/deceleration of bone tissue allows to ‘Supercharge” such exercises in a simple, fast efficient and safe manner.
It, therefore, becomes the logical addition to any Osteopenia and osteoporosis treatment plan!