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Whole Body Vibration Therapy

With the New Year heading our way, we, at Hopkins Chiropractic, have opened our practice to a new and exciting type of chiropractic care…Whole Body Vibration Therapy or put simply, WBV.  WBV is one of the latest trends in rehabilitative and preventative medicine with recent studies showing fantastic results for wide array of patients.  While accelerating the body's natural healing process, WBV helps with injuries, illness and even exercise.  Working twice as fast as traditional physical therapies, WBV can offer both patient and practitioner improved feedback, and therefore, improved performance and results.

More specifically, WBV causes stimulation of the living cells within our bodies.  This stimulation helps with cellular regrowth, increases in the oxygen levels in cells, improved uptake of nutrients within the cells, as well as improved cellular waste removal.  What does this mean for you?  Well, without these important cellular processes our bodies are prone to disease and/or injury, both of which can accelerate the aging process.

While working with astronauts, Russian scientist ,Vladimir Nazarov, wanted to come up with a solution to some of the adverse health effects that astronauts experience while in space, most notably: the loss of muscle and bone mass, often times resulting in bone fractures.  His solution was to subject the astronauts to WBV sessions during their rigorous pre-liftoff space training sessions.  His results were astounding and showed improvement in bone density, as well as muscle strength. 

Current research shows that WBV is indicated for a broad range of therapeutic and clinical applications, such as the following:


Balance, Coordination & Fall Prevention

  • Study:  To investigate the efficacy of high-frequency whole-body vibration (WBV) on balancing ability in elderly women [Cheung WH, Mok HW, Qin L, Sze PC, Lee KM, Leung KS. Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China.]
  • Conclusion:  WBV was effective in improving the balancing ability in elderly women. This also provides evidence to support our user-friendly WBV treatment protocol of 3 minutes a day for the elderly to maintain their balancing ability and reduce risks of fall.


Flexibility & Range of Motion

  • Study:  Flexibility Enhancement with Vibration: Acute and Long-Term [Flexibility Enhancement with Vibration: Acute and Long-Term. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 720-725, 2006.]
  • Conclusion:  Vibration can be a promising means of increasing range of motion beyond that obtained with static stretching in highly trained male gymnasts.


Bone & Joint Rehabilitation, especially Knee Rehab

  • Study:  Whole-Body Vibration Induced Adaptation in Knee Extensors; Consequences of Initial Strength, Vibration Frequency, and Joint Angle [Savelberg HH, Keizer HA, Meijer K. Department of Human Movement Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiteit Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.]
  • Conclusion:  Muscle length during training affects the angle of knee joint at which the maximal extension moment was generated. Moreover, in weaker subjects WBV resulted in higher maximal knee joint extension moments. Vibration frequency and muscle length during vibration did not affect this joint moment gain.


Lower Back Pain & Pelvic Instability

  • Study:  The Effect of Weight-Bearing Exercise with Low Frequency, Whole Body Vibration on Lumbosacral Proprioception: A Pilot Study on Normal Subjects [Fontana TL, Richardson CA, Stanton WR. School of Health and Rehabilitation Science, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia.]
  • Conclusion:  WBV, and the reflexive muscle contraction it provokes, has the potential to induce strength gain in the knee extensors of previously untrained females to the same extent as resistance training at moderate intensity.  It was clearly shown the strength increases after WBV training are not attributable to a placebo effect.

Osteoporosis, Arthritis & Rheumatism

  • Study:  The incidence of osteoporosis, a disease that manifests in the elderly, may be reduced by increasing peak bone mass in the young women. [J Bone Miner Res 2006;21:1464-1474. Published online on June 26, 2006; doi: 10.1359/JBMR.060612.]
  • Conclusions: Short bouts 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. Should these musculoskeletal enhancements be preserved through adulthood, this intervention may prove to be a deterrent to osteoporosis in the elderly.



Other Benefits

  • Stress & Pain Reduction
  • Neuromuscular Re-Education
  • Circulatory Functioning
  • General Health & Wellness



Regardless of age, WBV provides a low impact vertical exercise solution that can work the entire body or specific body parts.  The reduction of pain and discomfort can dramatically improve flexibility and range of motion.  As a standalone exercise program, or even as a pre/post workout addition, provides many muscular benefits in a fraction of the time.  One of the major perks of WBV is its ability to allow individuals with debilitating illnesses or restrictive conditions to enhance their quality of life, which is something we strive to achieve at Hopkins Chiropractic.  Have we piqued your interest?  If so, call us and schedule an appointment to see what Whole Body Vibration Therapy can do for you.


When Is Back Pain More Than Back Pain?

Your First Chiropractic Office Visit
Your chiropractor's purpose on your first office visit is to make sure you're in the right place. He or she wants to make certain your back pain really is back pain - and treatable - rather than being a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

Your chiropractor will take a complete history, learning the facts about your problem. How long you've had the pain, the nature and quality of the pain itself, whether the pain is localized or radiating, and whether the pain wakes you up at night are key elements in solving the puzzle.

Following the history, your chiropractor will perform a complete orthopedic and neurologic exam, gathering all the information necessary to arrive at what's called a "working diagnosis".

If your chiropractor concludes that treatment is appropriate, she will outline the anticipated stages of improvement and recovery, noting that further evaluation will be done if you're not getting better in a timely manner.

Out of the blue, your back starts to hurt. At first, it's just an annoyance. You can live with it. You've had lower back pain before and it went away on its own.

Now it's a few weeks later. You've got a low-grade pain that's not getting any better. You're actually worse, in fact, because your back hurts most of the time.

What to do?

You don't want to run to a doctor. After all, it's just back pain. Everybody has back pain. So you begin to solicit advice from your friends. And, of course, your friends have plenty of advice. "Do these exercises my doctor gave me." "Do these stretches - they worked for me." "Go to yoga class." "I know a great Pilates instructor. She'll get you in shape and your back will stop hurting." "Take vitamins and drink more water." "Meditate."

Your friends mean well and it's all very good advice. But none of it seems to work. Another month goes by and now the pain is increasing. It's even affecting your sleep.

It's time to see a doctor. But which one? For the most part, medical physicians are not experts on back pain. Typical recommendations include rest, moist heat, and anti-inflammatory medication.1,2 But, really, you've done all that. You need more specific advice.

Choices might include doctors of chiropractic, orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists.

Many orthopedic surgeons are spinal specialists, but what they do is surgery. This would be a last resort, typically, after other treatment options have failed.

Physical therapists are highly skilled practitioners who focus on exercise, rehabilitation, and re-training. They are not primary care providers, and typically patients are referred to physical therapists by family physicians, chiropractors, and orthopedic surgeons.

Doctors of chiropractic are spinal specialists, too, and what chiropractors have to offer is expert conservative therapy.3 Chiropractors treat back-related problems all day, every day, and are the right doctor to see first.

As spinal specialists, chiropractors receive extensive training in evaluating patients with back pain. Chiropractors consider all aspects of the problem, and develop sound treatment plans based on the facts. If a person does not respond as anticipated, their chiropractor has a "Plan B" in place for further evaluation and possible referral.

When choosing a doctor, you're allowed to ask questions and participate in the process. The strategy for follow-up is critically important.

First, if you're improving and doing well, how will can you help keep the problem from recurring? Will your chiropractor prescribe stretches, exercises, and other self-care action steps to help you keep yourself well?

And, what steps will be taken if your problem and pain are not improving? Where might you be referred for further tests and evaluation? Chiropractic treatment is a powerful tool in most cases of back pain. Symptoms should begin to improve quickly. Have your chiropractor outline the "Plan B" if you are, in fact, not getting better.

Your doctor of chiropractic will be able to answer these questions.

1Zuhosky JP, et al: Industrial medicine and acute musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 88(3 Suppl 1):S34-39, 2007.
2Cayea D, et al: Chronic low back pain in older adults. What physicians know, what they think they know, and what they should be taught. J Am Geriatr Soc 54(11):1772-1777, 2006.
3DeVocht JW: History and overview of theories and methods of chiropractic. Clin Orthop Relat Res 444:243-249, 2006.


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