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Learn the Science:

Cystic Fibrosis and whole body vibration


Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the secretory glands that produce mucus and sweat. Patients with Cystic Fibrosis have thicker and stickier mucus than normal which can obstruct airways. Mucus buildup can also cause infection and damage the lungs. Damage to the lungs and obstructed airways can lead to respiratory failure, which is the most common cause of death in individuals with Cystic Fibrosis. Therefore, many treatments focus on removing mucus from the lungs and preventing infections. However, there are a number of additional symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis, including digestive problems such as constipation, mineral imbalance, dehydration, osteoporosis, and diabetes. 

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis causes obstructions in the lungs.

Whole Body Vibration and Cystic Fibrosis

Muscle weakness and the development of Osteoporosis is common for those with Cystic Fibrosis. Exercise is key to helping those with Cystic Fibrosis to live a full, healthy life because it strengthens muscles and helps keep the airways clear.

Preliminary studies show promising potential for the use and benefits of whole body vibration for individuals with Cystic fibrosis. Most notably, whole body vibration builds muscle and increases bone density for those at risk with Osteoporosis. (Click here to learn more about Osteoporosis.)

In addition, muscle function improved during a three month study for adults with Cystic Fibrosis. (Rietschel et al., 2008) In another study, neuromuscular and intramuscular coordination also improved. (Roth et al., 2008) Further studies need to be conducted to characterize the effects of whole body vibration on individuals with Cystic Fibrosis, especially in children.

LifetimeVibe Exercises

LifetimeVibe’s patented design is especially helpful as it isolates the vibration in the base, not the handles–reducing harsh and violent movement. Unlike competitor machines, LifetimeVibe also accelerates gradually to the chosen speed, making the experience much more comfortable for those with pain and discomfort. 

Suggested Positions

There are many positions that may be helpful for those with Cystic Fibrosis. Read through the exercises and massage positions on the reverse side of this flip chart and select the ones most beneficial for your condition. See LifetimeVibe Program booklet pages 14 and 15 for exercise ideas.

Speeds and Programs

Maintain Speeds below 25 to elicit a muscle response, use speeds above 25 for massage. Begin with 1-3 minutes several times a day listening to your body and increase time as tolerated. 


  1. Rietschel, E.; van Koningsbruggen, S.; Fricke, O.; Semler, O.; Schoenau, E. Whole body vibration: a new therapeutic approach to improve muscle function in cystic fibrosis? International journal of rehabilitation research 2008, 31, 253-256.
  2. Roth, J.; Wust, M.; Rawer, R.; Schnabel, D.; Armbrecht, G.; Beller, G.; Rembitzki, I.; Wahn, U.; Felsenberg, D.; Staab, D. Whole body vibration in cystic fibrosis–a pilot study. Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions 2008, 8, 179-187.