Balance and Proprioception
How Whole Body Vibration helps with Balance and Proprioception
With a growing older adult population, balance, stability and the prevalence of falls leading to serious injury are becoming a real concern that needs a universal solution. 33% of people ages 65 and over fall at least once each year causing injury. These falls are the leading cause of death for this age group and have become a serious issue. Forty percent of these falls that cause serious injury, involve broken or fractured hips and 50% of these cause permanent damage in which the patient never regains full functional ability.
As we get older muscles become weaker, bones lose density and become brittle and balance and coordination
Prescription drugs have a direct connection with increased falls
Physical condition such as weak muscles, low stamina, reflex & coordination reduction and bone strength has a great impact on the likelihood of a falling incident. Unfortunately, it more common today that adults suffering from these effects are given prescription drugs than put on a fitness program. Research shows that prescription drugs have a direct connection with increased falls in these adults.
Studies show that 20% of men and women 65 years and over did not even know the cause of their falls, inhibiting them from seeking preventative treatment. Osteoporosis affects over 43 million Americans, most of which are female (68%). Preventative treatment is critical to this age group to maintain an active, safe and healthy lifestyle.
Muscle Vibration Therapy
Since the studies show that prescription drugs are not the best answer to this problem, what is the alternative? Whole Body Vibration training has been around for decades but only recently has it entered North America and been used by Doctors, therapists
Some of the research was done at
Whole Body Vibration exercise machines create involuntary muscle contractions known as the “stretch reflex”. As the platform moves down the tendon is stretched and then is involuntarily contracted. As the platform moves up to the original position the movement is repeated. This happens very rapidly (many times a second, depending on the frequency set by the user) meaning that multiple muscle contractions are elicited every second. Whole Body Vibration exercise training is a type of resistance training but done without the use of weights and it does not stress the joints as in traditional exercise training. Force is applied via “acceleration” instead of “heavy weights” and the stress associated with them.
It is clear that there is a direct relationship between strength and balance which is why older people who are weaker, are more prone to falls. Research shows that knee strength alone is responsible for 40% of a person’s balance and agility. This is an important factor among the older population with osteoarthritis. A study done on this group concluded that as strength increased, the odds for falls decreased significantly indicating a strong relationship existed between lower-body strength and balance and agility. Even small increases in muscle strength had a major impact on balance and falls. Whole Body Vibration exercise is very effective at working these muscles and is effective for the prevention of falls in older adults. Whole Body Vibration fitness as a muscle vibration therapy is even effective on very frail individuals who have difficulty exercising.
Whole Body Vibration Improves Balance, Preventing Falls
Strength gains with Whole Body Vibration exercise have been fantastic and studies show an impressive gain of 18% in the chair rising test in adults over 60, which is standing from a sitting position only using your legs. Common injuries such as hip fractures are often caused by falls and although regular exercise is the most effective preventative measure many older people are unable to exercise effectively to build muscle strength. Whole Body Vibration exercise machines have been shown to effectively build muscle strength, preventing falls and injury in older adults. In many cases people have problems sticking to a fitness program due to fatigue or simply losing interest. Research shows that people are much more attracted to Whole Body Vibration and actually stick with it compared to traditional exercise.
The main attractions were:
- Fast and effective
- Can do it at home (many disliked going to a gym)
- Invigorating workout, more energetic
- Like the way they feel a
- More enjoyable than traditional exercise
- Therapeutic – helped joint pain, etc.
- Very safe, didn’t worry about injury
- In Summary: Ten minutes of Whole Body Vibration exercise as a muscle vibration therapy has been shown to increase strength equivalent to that observed with an hour of traditional resistance training, especially in older adults and without the risk of injury that resistance training can have.
Whole Body Vibration
has many benefits
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