Over 30% of adults in the 55+ community and greater than 50% of residents in assisted living homes have symptoms of incontinence. Incontinence in the elderly can have serious implications on physical, psychological, social and sexual health.
Recent research shows excellent news, whole-body vibration training can strengthen pelvic floor muscles and relieve incontinence in women, thus improving quality of life. The study on incontinence relief was performed and published in November 2015 in the Journal of Family and Reproductive Health. The aim of the study was to demonstrate whether Whole Body Vibration training could be as effective as other known therapies such as performing pelvic floor strengthening exercises. These pelvic floor exercises involve lying down on the floor on your back and contracting your pelvic floor and kegel muscle as forcefully as possible in multiple sets over 10 minutes. The exercises can be inconvenient and difficult for older women. In contrast, the whole body vibration training use in the study involved a much more comfortable and convenient therapy involving sitting on a vibration machine and moving the legs and hips through a series of positions.
The study results showed that whole-body vibration was indeed effective. Pelvic floor muscle strength improved and the frequency of incontinence decreased. In many cases, the whole body vibration results were better than the pelvic floor muscle training results. For example, the average rate of muscle strength improvement was faster for whole-body vibration training. Likewise, there were greater average increase in scores of Quality of Life, the whole body vibration training scores increasing by 84%, versus only a 60% increase for the alternate exercises. The improvements seen were long-lasting and the therapeutic effects were still present even 3 months after the treatments.
Why is whole-body vibration so effective in relieving incontinence? Vibration through the oscillating plate technology, found in the LifetimeVibe, forces alternating up and down motion of the legs and hips and causes a high firing rate of the neuromuscular system. The muscles in the pelvic floor involuntarily contract and release and are strengthened. Additionally, whole-body vibration contributes to improvement in timing, coordination, endurance, and rapidity of pelvic floor muscle contractions. Simply put, by regularly standing on the vibration machine, you can more comfortably “hold it in.”
For a more local example, Marci S. was an 88-year old user of a LifetimeVibe whole body vibration machine. She wasn’t a part of the study, in fact, she was a user right here in Orem, Utah. She offered the following testimony after using the machine. “I am sold on this machine . . . . I used to stand up and dribble, which I did not like. I was on that machine 2 or 3 times and that was GONE! Ever since then, I haven’t had to worry about incontinence.” Beyond that, Marci shared that using the LifetimeVibe helped her with her arm pain and with restless legs so she could sleep better through the night.
If you or someone you know suffers from incontinence then a whole-body vibration machine may be able to help you. One can stand on the machine, or sit, or do any number of exercises while on the machine to help relieve incontinence and many other ailments. Research has confirmed it!
By: Erik Schaumann