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kwikfit-blog-featured-image-038Whole Body Vibration helped Parkinson Disease

Basically, Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an example of a disease that results from a deficiency in dopamine, which is the reason that L-Dopamine is generally given as the medicine to treat Parkinson’s.It is also commonly acknowledged that serotonin plays a role in mood and/or frame of mind of the one suffering from PD. A deficiency of serotonin in the brain can lead to depression, which is the reason  that Prozac is often given to the patient in order to increase the serotonin supply to the brain. Recent research shows that Whole Body Vibration (WBV) therapy also influences these neurotransmitters and the way in which they work. WBV training and therapy increases the serotonin content in the brain without the use of drugs, which could possibly explain why one feels so much better after Whole Body Vibration therapy.

Parkinson’s disease is best described as a movement disorder that is chronic and progressive in which symptoms continue and usually worsen over time. It affects nerve cells in a part of the brain that controls muscle movement.

Dopamine

Parkinson’s disease occurs when a group of cells in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra begin to malfunction and die. The cells in the substantia nigra produce the chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, which sends information to the parts of the brain that control movement and coordination.

When an individual has Parkinson’s disease, his/her dopamine-producing cells begin to die and the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases. Messages from the brain telling the body how and when to move are therefore delivered more slowly, leaving a person incapable of initiating and controlling movements in a normal way especially affecting the gait and balance of the patient.

Four Primary Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

The four primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination (parkinsonian gait). As these symptoms become more severe, patients may have difficulty walking, talking or completing other simple tasks that we all take for granted.

Parkinson’s disease usually affects people over the age of 50. There are 1-1.5 million people in the United States living with Parkinson’s. The disorder occurs in all races but is somewhat more prevalent among Caucasians. Men are affected slightly more often than women. To date there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but the symptoms may be relieved.

Whole Body Vibration on oscillating platforms improves postural stability and motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease. Whole Body Vibration is also found as effective (if not more so) as conventional physical therapy for treating gait and improving balance in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

The spontaneous effects of random Whole Body Vibration on postural control in Parkinsonian subjects were scientifically investigated. Effects were examined in biomechanical tests from a total of 52 patients divided equally into one experimental and one control group. Postural control was tested pre and post treatment. The main findings from this study were that WBV can improve postural stability in Parkinson’s disease (PD) spontaneously. Based on the results of this study, WBV can be regarded advantageous as an additional device in physical therapy for those suffering from PD.

Whole Body Vibration on motor symptoms

It is well known that applying vibrations to men and women influences multiple physiological functions. In another test to analyze the post therapy effects of Whole Body Vibration on motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease, sixty-eight persons with PD were randomly subdivided into one experimental and one control group. Motor symptoms were assessed by the UPDRS (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale) motor score. A cross-over design was used to control treatment effects. The treatment consisted of 5 series of Whole Body Vibration sessions taking only 60 seconds each. On average a highly significant improvement of 16.8% in the UPDRS motor score was found in the treatment group. Only marginal changes were found in the control group. The cross-over procedure showed comparable treatment effects (14.7% improvement after treatment). With respect to different symptom clusters only small changes were found in limb akinesia and cranial symptoms. By contrast, tremor and rigidity scores were improved by 25% and 24%, respectively.

In a clinical study, gait assessments and upper limb control tests showed significant improvements on gait stability and posture, increased stepping time and speed on the peg-board task, including a significant decrease in tremors and less rigidity in PD patients receiving Whole Body Vibration therapy compared to a control group that received no therapy. More importantly, this study showed that Whole Body Vibration therapy may also be applied to PD patients that do not respond well to L-dopamine medication.  This study also suggests that WBV is more efficient (25% more efficient) than conventional physical therapy for partially reversing clinical symptoms in PD patients that do not respond well to L-dopamine medication.

Whole Body Vibration is used for many applications including relaxation therapy, strength training, muscle toning, and for physical therapy.  According to this study scientists have found yet another benefit of Whole Body Vibration in helping those with Parkinson’s disease.

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