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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.


Back Pain and Herniated Discs

Back Pain and Leg Pain
Much more commonly, when lower back pain is accompanied by radiating pain, the radiating pain only travels into the buttock and thigh, and doesn't travel below the knee.

And, most commonly, the thigh pain is found in the back of the thigh, rather than in the front of the leg.

Most of the time, this radiating pain does NOT come from a herniated disc, and does NOT mean the problem is sciatica (caused by an inflamed sciatic nerve, likely caused by a disc herniation).

This type of pain that travels into the buttock and the back of the thigh is usually caused by mechanical changes in the sacroiliac joint and the spinal joints of the lower back. These mechanical changes relate to tight spinal muscles and inflamed spinal ligaments and tendons, with resulting loss of full mobility.

The good news is such problems are treatable with chiropractic health care. The underlying problems are structural, related to the joints and surrounding soft tissues, and chiropractic treatment is designed to restore balance and function. Symptoms typically begin to improve quickly.

In addition to treatment, your chiropractor will likely recommend stretches and exercises to help solve the problem and maintain physical health.
A 30-year-old mom bends over to pick up her four-year-old and feels a sharp stabbing pain in her lower back. A 60-year-old man bends over to pick up his five-year-old grandchild and feels an electrical shooting pain in his lower back. For both, the pain is so severe they need to sit down.

The next day, both the mom and the grandfather notice they now have pain and numbness radiating down one leg, and they are having trouble walking.

What's going on, how did it happen, and what can be done about it?

 First of all, a little basic anatomy is useful. Spinal discs are weight-bearing shock absorbers. They contain a gel-like ball-bearing center, which is surrounded by tough fibrous cartilage, arranged in concentric, criss-crossing circles.1

As a person gets older, the discs naturally lose some of their water content, and cracks and fissures naturally develop in the fibrous cartilage. If a weight-bearing stress is unusual and unexpected, the gel-like material in the center of the disc can push through one of the fissures and possibly irritate a spinal nerve.

If enough of this material pushes through, the nerve can become inflamed and cause symptoms such as radiating pain and/or numbness, and possibly weakness, in one leg.

Typically, such pain and/or numbness radiates down the leg, traveling below the knee and possibly into the foot.

Such symptoms, with or without back pain, are highly suggestive of an inflamed spinal nerve. In fact, the person will usually say the leg symptoms are much worse and of greater concern than any back pain that may be present.

If the MRI confirms the disc herniation and suggests an inflamed nerve, the diagnosis is complete. What's next?

In the best scenario, conservative treatment may be sufficient and the nerve inflammation improves with time.2,3 Anti-inflammatory medication may be helpful. Chiropractic conservative therapy may include physical therapeutic modalities and gentle trigger point therapy to relieve associated muscle spasms.

A spinal surgeon should be consulted to provide an additional opinion and input. If pain is severe and there is neurologic loss, surgery may be the best option.

Of course, the best management, as always, is prevention. Pay attention to safe lifting procedures. Exercise regularly and get sufficient rest. Your chiropractor will be able to provide guidance and recommend effective protocols to help you achieve and maintain good health and wellness.

1Postacchini F: Lumbar Disc Herniation. Springer, 2004, Chapter 2.
2Rothoerl RD, et al: When should conservative treatment for lumbar disc herniation be ceased and surgery considered? Neurosurg Rev 25(3):162-165, 2002.
3Lumbar Disc Herniation. New Engl J Med 347(21):1728-1729, 2002.


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