Can Good Vibrations Mean Good Health?
Anyone remember the vibrator belts machines of the 50’s and 60’s that promised you could shake your fat away without strenuous exercise? They didn’t work. Different versions of that idea have surfaced over the ensuing years, but a small, Spanish government-funded study is making healthcare and rehabilitation professionals revisit the benefits of vibration devices, especially for senior populations. A group of 24 men and women 65 plus performed 10 reps of squats, 3 times a week, for 11 weeks while on a vibrating platform. The underlying premise of the study is that vibration increases circulation, activates muscles and may strengthen bones. The results were inconclusive, with participants showing only a slight improvement in stamina and lower body strength.
But, other studies have shown that vibration platforms can improve balance and joint motion in geriatric patients, especially when used concurrently with more standard forms of exercise. Aerobic exercise remains the best way to ensure good health as one ages, but for those who are cardiac restricted or less ambulatory, such devices provide a beneficial minimal level of physical activity. The promise is also there that by improving fitness and movement, other chronic conditions associated with aging, such as depression and anxiety, will also be positively impacted.
Ranging in price from $150-3000, vibration platforms are financially feasible therapeutic tools for ALFs, rehab facilities, and therapists alike. However, further studies will be needed to determine their full potential for this population. In the meantime, if you are a PT , PTA ,OT ,or COTA,looking to make a significant difference in the lives of seniors contact the Centra team at 800 535 0076.