Learn the Science:
Neuropathy and whole body vibration
Neuropathy is a group of diseases that cause the dysfunction or damage to one or more nerves, resulting in weakness, pain, tingling, and/or numbness in the extremities. Common forms of neuropathy include but are not limited to Peripheral, Autonomic, and Diabetic neuropathy. Pain can vary from slight numbness, mild tingling, or severe pain. This can cause loss of coordination and balance due to the numbness and pain in the legs and feet.
It is estimated that more than 20 million people in the United States have Neuropathy, with 60-70% of diabetics experiencing some form of Neuropathy (Kernich, 2001). Many treatments seek to subdue the effects temporarily, but often are ineffective in curing the disease. Whole body vibration is an all-natural treatment which can be used for relief in some people.
Whole body vibration and Neuropathy
Whole body vibration can improve blood flow, and heal and strengthen the body. Whole body vibration therapy decreased pain, and improved balance and gait patterns of patients with type II Diabetes. Whole body vibration is in its infancy. However, there is promising evidence to suggest improvement in patients (Junggi Hong, 2011).
In another study, Whole body vibration was determined to be a possibly effective non-pharmacological therapy for people with neuropathy and other neurovascular complications caused by diabetes. During the treatment patients showed signs of increased blood flow, which can lead to healing (Johnson et al., 2014).
Lifetime Vibe Exercises
LifetimeVibe’s patented design is especially helpful for people with Neuropathy because 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 joint pain.
View the program booklet to determine exercises that are suited best for your condition.
Speed and Programs
For exercise set speed from 25-30 and stay on the machine for 3-5 minutes, repeat as many or more than 5 times a day, as tolerated. For massage set speed above 35 and stand on the machine for 3-5 minutes.
Neuropathy improves with whole body vibration
- Kernich, C. A. Patient and family fact sheet. Peripheral neuropathy. The Neurologist (Baltimore, Md.) 2001, 7, 315-316.
- Junggi Hong Whole Body Vibration Therapy for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain: A Case Report. Health science journal 2011, 5, 66.
- Johnson, P. K.; Feland, J. B.; Johnson, A. W.; Mack, G. W.; Mitchell, U. H. Effect of Whole Body Vibration on Skin Blood Flow and Nitric Oxide Production. Journal of diabetes science and technology 2014, 8, 889-894.
Learn the Science:
Research on Neuropathy and Whole Body Vibration
Whole Body Vibration exercise treatment is not effective for all forms of Neuropathy. Research expecially shows improvement when people exercise using a vibration plate if they have diabetic peripheral neuropathy or neuropathy caused by chemo therapy.
When the painful condition of neuropathy is a result of a permanently pinched nerve in the spine, such benefits of exercise are less clear. This collection of articles shows a few highlights of the wide variety of research on neuropathy.
Peripheral Neuropathy Improves with WBV
Whole body vibration improves symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy
Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is an innovative therapy that may be effective for reducing chronic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), Current treatments for DPN pain have demonstrated questionable efficacy and significant risk of adverse events. Preliminary research has indicated that WBV may be effective for controlling chronic pain symptoms of DPN.
Methods: 20 participants (9 male, 11 female), 58.51 ± 10.69 years old, and BMI of 33.60 ± 8.20 kg/m2 were randomly assigned to a sham-treatment (n = 8) or WBV treatment (n = 12) group in a pre-post design. Pain was assessed with a 10-point verbal analog pain scale (VAS). Treatment consisted of three sessions/week with at least one day between sessions, 12 min/session (four bouts of 3 min), for four weeks. Control was established with a sham vibration protocol for two weeks in which the participants were blinded to the treatment.
Results: VAS scores of the treatment group decreased significantly at both 2 and 4 weeks (p = 0.019). The treatment group was found to have a significantly lower VAS score than the controls at two weeks (p = 0.033). After cessation of WBV vibration treatment, participants reported reduced DPN-related pain from 1 to 5 weeks later.
(In other words: the treatment from WBV reduced pain, not just immediately, but over the long term).
Conclusion: WBV is effective for reducing DPN-associated pain over a two- and four-week interval. This was the first study to demonstrate this using a sham vibration control. We further saw a persistence in pain reduction beyond the day of treatment, indicating a potential chronic effect of WBV treatment.
Kessler NJ, Lockard MM, Fischer J. Whole body vibration improves symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2020 Apr;24(2):1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2020.01.004. Epub 2020 Feb 11. PMID: 32507132.
WBV Reduces Pain from Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Whole body vibration showed beneficial effect on pain, balance measures and quality of life in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a randomized controlled trial
Purpose: The aim of the study was to determine the efficacy of whole body vibration (WBV) therapy on pain, neuropathy disability score, balance, proprioception and quality of life (QOL) in patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (PDPN).
(Does Whole Body Vibration reduce pain and improve life?)
Methods: Twenty-six (16 males and 10 females) patients with PDPN were selected on the basis of inclusion and exclusion criteria. Subjects were randomly allocated to an experimental group (n = 13, age = 60.69 ± 5.08) and a control group (n = 13, age = 59.54 ± 4.25). The experimental group was given WBV therapy for six weeks (3 days/week) in addition to standard medical care, dietary advice and lifestyle modifications. Control group was provided only standard medical care, dietary advice and lifestyle modifications. Outcome measures included numeric pain rating scale (NPRS), Leeds assessment of neuropathic symptoms and signs (LANSS), vibration perception threshold (VPT), neuropathy disability score (NDS), proprioception, single-leg stance test (SLST), timed up and go test (TUGT) and short form 36 questionnaire (SF-36).
(So the onlly difference between the randomly-selected groups was the whole body vibration therapy.)
Results: NPRS, LANSS, NDS, SLST and TUGT showed significant time effect (p ≤ 0.022) and time×group interaction (p ≤ 0.007), whereas group effect was found to be significant only in LANSS (p = 0.001). VPT showed significant group effect (p ≤ 0.045) and time×group interaction (p ≤ 0.007) at great toe, metatarsal head and total average score. SF-36 was found to be significant time effect (p ≤ 0.024) in all domains except limitations due to physical health (p = 0.461). SF-36 average score was found be significant for group effect (p = 0.002) and time×group interaction (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: WBV improves sensory sensations like pain and vibration perception, neuropathy disability score, balance measures and health-related QOL in PDPN.
(QOL is Quality of Life, and PDPN is painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy)
Keywords: Diabetic neuropathy; Neuropathy disability score; SF-36; Single leg stance; Timed up and go.
Jamal A, Ahmad I, Ahamed N, Azharuddin M, Alam F, Hussain ME. Whole body vibration showed beneficial effect on pain, balance measures and quality of life in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a randomized controlled trial. J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2019 Dec 21;19(1):61-69. doi: 10.1007/s40200-019-00476-1. PMID: 32550157; PMCID: PMC7270395.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Pain Reduced with WBV
Whole body vibration therapy for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a pilot study
The unsatisfactory results associated with conventional treatments for symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) demonstrate a need for research into alternative therapies. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of whole body vibration therapy (WBV) as a treatment for pain associated with DPN. Participants (n = 8) with painful DPN received three treatment sessions per week for four weeks. Each session consisted of four bouts of 3 min of vibration (frequency 25 Hz, amplitude 5 mm). The primary outcome measures were changes in the visual analog pain scale (VAS) and changes in the neuropathic pain scale (NPS). WBV demonstrated a significant (p < 0.05) acute pain reduction in the VAS, and a significant chronic reduction in both the VAS and NPS scales. No side-effects were observed during this study. WBV appears to be an effective, non-invasive treatment for pain associated with DPN.
(Whole Body Vibration reduced pain without side effects!)
Keywords: DPN, Diabetic peripheral neuropathy; Diabetic peripheral neuropathy; Gate-control theory of pain; NPS, Neuropathic pain scale; Non-pharmaceutical treatment; VAS, Visual analog scale; Vibration therapy; WBV, Whole body vibration.
Kessler NJ, Hong J. Whole body vibration therapy for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a pilot study. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2013 Oct;17(4):518-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2013.03.001. Epub 2013 Apr 30. PMID: 24139013.
Chemotherapy-induced Neuropathy Improves with WBV
Sensorimotor training and whole-body vibration training have the potential to reduce motor and sensory symptoms of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy-a randomized controlled pilot trial
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a prevalent and clinically relevant side effect of chemotherapy. The symptoms diminish patients’ quality of life and represent a decisive limiting factor for medical therapy. To date, effective treatment options are lacking. Specific exercise interventions have proven promising to target relevant symptoms. We conducted a prospective, four-armed, randomized, controlled trial, to evaluate the effects of sensorimotor training (SMT) and whole-body vibration training (WBV) on patients with CIPN. Participants (N = 40) were randomized to either one of two intervention groups (SMT N = 10 or WBV N = 10) or oncological control group (N = 10) and matched by gender and age with a healthy control (N = 10). The intervention groups exercised twice a week for 6 weeks. Primary endpoint was the reduction of CIPN-related symptoms (improve peripheral deep sensitivity, Achilles tendon reflex (ASR) and patellar tendon reflex (PSR), light-touch perception, sense of position, and lower leg strength). Secondary endpoints were nerve conduction velocity and amplitude, balance control, quality of life, and CIPN-related pain. Patients exercising improved sensory and associated motor symptoms. Significant intergroup differences were found for the tendon reflexes (ASR P = .017 and PSR P = .020), peripheral deep sensitivity (P = .010), and pain (P = .043). Furthermore, tendencies were found regarding the subjective improvement of symptoms (P = .075) and two subscales of the EORTC-QLQ-C30 questionnaire: pain (P = .054) and dyspnea (P = .054). The results for the SMT group were superior regarding the tendon reflexes, and a tendency regarding the subjective report of symptoms, while WBV was superior regarding pain. SMT and WBV behold a large potential to reduce CIPN-related symptoms and can be considered feasible and safe for patients with CIPN (compliance 97.5%, no adverse events).Registration: DRKS00013027.
(Whole Body Vibration was the best way to reduce pain from Chemotherapy-induced peripheral nueropathy. It worked better than regular exercise, or sensorimotor training)
Keywords: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy; Exercise intervention; Neuropathy; Physical activity; Symptom reduction.
Streckmann F, Lehmann HC, Balke M, Schenk A, Oberste M, Heller A, Schürhörster A, Elter T, Bloch W, Baumann FT. Sensorimotor training and whole-body vibration training have the potential to reduce motor and sensory symptoms of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy-a randomized controlled pilot trial. Support Care Cancer. 2019 Jul;27(7):2471-2478. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4531-4. Epub 2018 Oct 31. PMID: 30382392.
Elderly Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy Improve with WBV
Whole-body vibration training improves balance, muscle strength and glycosylated hemoglobin in elderly patients with diabetic neuropathy
Elderly patients with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy are more likely to experience falls. However, the information available on how such falls can be prevented is scarce. We investigated the effects of whole-body vibration (WBV) combined with a balance exercise program on balance, muscle strength, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in elderly patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Fifty-five elderly patients with diabetic neuropathy were randomly assigned to WBV with balance exercise group, balance exercise (BE) group, and control group. The WBV and BE groups performed the balance exercise program for 60 min per day, 2 times per week, for 6 weeks. Further, the WBV group performed WBV training (up to 3 × 3 min, 3 times per week, for 6 weeks). The control group did not participate in any training. The main outcome measures were assessed at baseline and after 6 weeks of training; namely, we assessed the postural sway and one leg stance (OLS) for static balance; Berg balance scale (BBS), timed up-and-go (TUG) test, and functional reach test (FRT) for dynamic balance; five-times-sit-to-stand (FTSTS) test for muscle strength; and HbA1c for predicting the progression of diabetes. Significant improvements were noted in the static balance, dynamic balance, muscle strength, and HbA1c in the WBV group, compared to the BE and control groups (P < 0.05). Thus, in combination with the balance exercise program, the short-term WBV therapy is beneficial in improving balance, muscle strength and HbA1c, in elderly patients with diabetic neuropathy who are at high risk for suffering falls.
(Elderly patients exercising with Whole Body Vibration had fewer falls and improved strength compared to those with no training.)
Lee K, Lee S, Song C. Whole-body vibration training improves balance, muscle strength and glycosylated hemoglobin in elderly patients with diabetic neuropathy. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2013 Dec;231(4):305-14. doi: 10.1620/tjem.231.305. PMID: 24334483.
Peripheral Neuropathy from Diabetes Improves with WBV
Short-term effects of the whole-body vibration on the balance and muscle strength of type 2 diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy: a quasi-randomized-controlled trial study
Background: Patients with diabetes type 2 suffer from many complications such as peripheral neuropathy (PN). PN impairs postural stability and muscle strength. Therapeutic exercise may improve functional abilities of diabetic patients but they are unwilling to participate in exercise programs. Whole Body vibration (WBV) is a new somatosensory stimulation which is easy to use and time-efficient. The effects of WBV on balance and strength of diabetic patients had not been studied; therefore the aim of this study was to assess the effects of WBV in type 2 diabetes patients.
Methods: It was a quasi-RCT study performed between March 2011 and February 2013. Twenty patients were randomly assigned into either a whole body vibration group, or a control group. WBV group received vibration (frequency: 30 Hz, amplitude: 2 mm) twice a week for 6 weeks. Muscle strength, Timed Up & Go Test (TUGT) and Unilateral Stance Test and balance parameters were measured at baseline and after the intervention.
Results: WBV had significantly increased strength of tibialis anterior (P = 0.004) and quadriceps muscles (P = 0.05) after 6 weeks of training. TUGT time decreased significantly (P = 0.001) in the WBV group.
Conclusions: Application of WBV enhanced muscles strength and balance in patients with diabetes type 2-induced peripheral neuropathy. The changes may be due to muscle tuning hypothesis and altered postural control strategies.
Keywords: Balance; Muscle strength; Neuropathy; TUGT; Type 2 diabetes; Whole body vibration.
(Whole Body Vibration strengthened the legs and balance for those with diabetic peripheral neruopathy.)
Kordi Yoosefinejad A, Shadmehr A, Olyaei G, Talebian S, Bagheri H, Mohajeri-Tehrani MR. Short-term effects of the whole-body vibration on the balance and muscle strength of type 2 diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy: a quasi-randomized-controlled trial study. J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2015 May 23;14:45. doi: 10.1186/s40200-015-0173-y. PMID: 26052508; PMCID: PMC4456782.