Introduction: Vibration machines for leg circulation
If you’re dealing with poor circulation, you might be thinking about vibration therapy to help your blood vessels. You may be concerned about symptoms of poor circulation such as numbness and tingling in arms and legs, varicose veins, or high blood pressure. If so, you know your circulatory system needs help. You may also be worried these are risk factors of peripheral arterial disease.
After all, when it comes to improving blood flow to your extremities, and throughout your body, every little bit helps! Here’s what you need to know about using a vibration machine for circulation.
- Most common causes of poor leg circulation
- How can exercise and movement help?
- What are vibration machines?
- Do whole body vibration machines work?
- How vibration machines improve leg circulation
- Is it safe to use a vibration machine?
- Are there any side effects from using vibration machines?
- Conclusion and References
What are the most common causes of poor leg circulation?
Poor circulation in the legs can be caused by several different conditions, some of which include:
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD): This is one of the most common causes. It’s a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs. It’s usually caused by atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels.
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): This is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg. It can cause pain and swelling in the leg. It can also lead to complications like a pulmonary embolism if the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs.
- Varicose veins: These are enlarged veins that you can see on your skin. They’re usually in the legs and feet, but they can occur in other parts of your body. They can cause pain, swelling, and feelings of heaviness in the legs, which might indicate poor circulation.
- Diabetes: High blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves. This damage can lead to poor circulation, particularly in the legs and feet.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese can put excess pressure on the veins and hinder circulation.
- Raynaud’s disease: This is a rare disorder that narrows the blood vessels in the hands and feet when a person is cold or stressed. This can also limit circulation.
- Smoking: Nicotine can constrict the blood vessels, impairing circulation.
It’s important to consult a healthcare professional if you’re experiencing symptoms of poor circulation. They can provide a diagnosis and appropriate treatment options based on your individual health situation.
How can exercise and movement help with leg circulation?
Exercise has several benefits for improving poor leg circulation:
- Promotes blood flow: Regular exercise helps stimulate blood flow throughout the body, including the legs. This increased circulation can help deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and remove waste products.
- Improves vein health: Exercises that work the calf muscles, can help promote blood flow back to the heart from the legs. This can be particularly beneficial in conditions like varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency.
- Lowers blood pressure: Regular exercise can help reduce blood pressure, which can improve circulation and decrease the risk of atherosclerosis. That constriction of the arteries is a condition that can lead to peripheral artery disease (PAD).
- Enhances blood vessel health: Physical activity helps stimulate the release of nitric oxide, a molecule that can dilate blood vessels and improve their function. This increased dilation helps enhance circulation.
- Weight control: Regular exercise is a key factor in maintaining a healthy weight. This is important as being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on your veins and arteries, impairing circulation.
- Improves blood sugar control: For those with diabetes, regular exercise can help control blood sugar levels. That can prevent damage to blood vessels and nerves that can impair circulation.
Exercise has a wide variety of benefits to strengthen blood flow and relieve symptoms of poor circulation. It also just feels good and the elevated mood can relieve stress and anxiety.
The problem is, many people with problems with lower leg circulation struggle to get enough exercise. That’s how whole body vibration plates can help.
What are vibration machines?
Vibration machines, or vibration plates, are an exercise tool that vibrate the body by using natural muscle contractions. They can be used to increase muscle strength, coordination and balance while improving circulation. Vibration machines are also often used to help with weight loss, increase muscle mass.
A whole body vibration machine is a plate you stand on that moves up and down. This motion causes all the muscles and joints in your body to contract. Some, extremely fast, high intensity machines can be dangerous if used improperly. Others use oscillating motion that can be adjusted more slowly to match the body’s natural movements.
Choosing a low vibration machine that is capable of slower vibrations is important for safety and muscle development. That kind of machine is also just much more comfortable.
Do whole body vibration machines work?
When you stand on a whole body vibration machine, your muscles must contract to keep up with the movement. These contractions require more oxygen, which requires more circulation. All of that circulation strengthens the heart, arteries, and veins.
In addition, when muscles are challenged, they become stronger and more flexible over time. They have to adapt to this new type of stimulus from the vibration plate and become more efficient.
How vibration machines improve leg circulation
A vibration plate moves up and down while you stand on a moving platform to stimulate the blood flow in your legs and feet. Vibration causes the tiny muscles in your tissues called capillaries to contract and expand, which helps increase blood flow through them. The increase of blood flow will also help improve oxygenation to the area. This can be very helpful for people who have poor circulation, especially those with diabetes or who are obese.
Differences among vibration machines
Professionals Explain Circulation and Vibration Plates
Is it safe to use a vibration machine?
Vibration machines are safe to use in a variety of situations. Research over more than five decades has shown almost no side effects and a variety of benefits. However, it’s important to listen to your body and consult a doctor if you have any concerns.
In the first six weeks after surgery, whole body vibration plates should be avoided. However, soon after that short recovery period, they are very helpful with physical therapy recovery.
Are there any side effects from using vibration machines?
While not all people will experience these side effects, it’s worth knowing about them in case you do. Most common issues are muscles soreness and tension from exercise.
Vibration plates are a great tool for improving overall health and circulation, but be sure to listen to your body. Vibration machines have been used safely by millions of people, but they aren’t right for everyone.
If you aren’t sure about whether or not vibration is right for you, talk with your doctor, or contact us for more information.
This is certainly not a comprehensive guide, but we hope that it can help you understand how vibration machines work, and can help your health. As with any new form of exercise, when starting a new whole body vibration program, start a few minutes each day an see how you feel. Be sure to consult a reputable professional if you are worried about specific health issue Also, listen to your body and adjust as needed!
Read more research on vibration exercise and circulation.
Muir J, Kiel DP, Rubin CT. Safety and severity of accelerations delivered from whole body vibration exercise devices to standing adults. J Sci Med Sport. 2013 Nov;16(6):526-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2013.01.004. Epub 2013 Mar 1. PMID: 23453990; PMCID: PMC3688642.
Lythgo, Noel & Eser, Prisca & de Groot, Patricia & Galea, Mary. (2009). Whole‐body vibration dosage alters leg blood flow. Clinical physiology and functional imaging. 29. 53-9. 10.1111/j.1475-097X.2008.00834.x.
Games KE, Sefton JM, Wilson AE. Whole-body vibration and blood flow and muscle oxygenation: a meta-analysis. J Athl Train. 2015 May;50(5):542-9. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-50.2.09. PMID: 25974682; PMCID: PMC4560014.