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Osteoporosis and whole body vibration

Health Condition

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass density, as well as rapid bone deterioration and/or brittleness. Osteoporosis increases the risk of bone fractures especially in the hips, ribs, spine and wrists. 

Whole Body Vibration and Osteoporosis

Exercise is essential for someone with Osteoporosis. Weight and resistance training exercises minimize bone fragility. However, it can be difficult to exercise with osteoporosis, and simple movements can sometimes cause fracturing. Careful, calculated exercise can prevent injury and maximize benefits. 

Whole Body Vibration therapy is a promising treatment for people with Osteoporosis. Finding ways to reverse, stop, or slow deterioration of the bones or even increase bone mass is critical to combating osteoporosis. Low-impact whole body vibration delivers mechanical loading to the skeleton, which can increase bone mass and improve balance.(Rubin et al., 2001) Animal studies have also shown mechanical loading improves bone growth and especially when used in conjunction with prescribed medications. Further clinical human trials still need to be done. (Stuermer et al., 2014) 

Post-menopause osteoporosis is one of the most common causes of osteoporosis in women. The lack of hormones such as estrogen causes the onset of osteoporosis. Whole body vibration in conjunction with other medicinal treatments have been found to help treat women with post-menopause osteoporosis. It has been proven to be a safe and effective way for women with osteoporosis to exercise and prevent further bone deterioration (Iwamoto et al., 2012; Swe et al., 2016).

Similarly, whole body vibration has been used to help astronauts to maintain their bone mass while in space and recover after they have returned home. The near absence of gravity in space causes bone deterioration without proper intervention. One method NASA used was whole body vibration (Barry, 2001).

Lifetime Vibration Exercises

LifetimeVibe’s patented design is especially helpful for people with osteoporosis 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 bone fragility. 

Suggested positions

Stand on LifetimeVibe or sit on the attachable seat. Make sure to evaluate your condition and adjust workout accordingly. (See Page 41 in the LifetimeVibe program booklet)

Speeds and Programs

The first few days begin with Pre-set program 1 and low speeds to avoid injury. Then move on to Pre-set programs 2, 5, and 6. Pre-set program 5 is more aggressive.

    Back Pain

    Osteoporosis improves with whole body vibration

    Medical Professions Explain Osteoporosis


    Research Summary

    Exercise has been widely shown to improve bone density. Whole Body Vibration is widely shown to be beneficial, with studies showing improvements in a range of frequencies. A few studies have focused on frequencies around 13hz to reduce safety risks. These studies have also shown beneficial results on bone density. One study expressed concern about dangers of frequencies higher than 25hz. 

    Citations for Bone Density Improvements with WBV

    Camacho-Cardenosa M, Camacho-Cardenosa A, Burtscher M, Brazo-Sayavera J, Tomas-Carus P, Olcina G, Timón R. Effects of Whole-Body Vibration Training Combined With Cyclic Hypoxia on Bone Mineral Density in Elderly People. Front Physiol. 2019 Aug 30;10:1122. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01122. PMID: 31543827; PMCID: PMC6728928.

    During 18 weeks, HWBV performed WBV treatment under normobaric hypoxic conditions (16.1% FiO2). A vibration session included 4 bouts of 30 s (12.6 Hz-4 mm) with 1 min rest between bouts. In conclusion, 18-week WBV training with hypoxic stimuli has shown positive effects for the participants of the current study. 

    Some studies have included protocols with frequencies at 10–15 Hz to allow for gentle adaptation in frail populations (elderly or rehabilitation programs, etc.) (Gusi et al., 2006; Turner et al., 2011; von Stengel et al., 2011). These investigations reported a clinically relevant effect in bone loss prevention at the femoral neck and lumbar spine. 

    Gusi N, Raimundo A, Leal A. Low-frequency vibratory exercise reduces the risk of bone fracture more than walking: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2006 Nov 30;7:92. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-7-92. PMID: 17137514; PMCID: PMC1693558.

    The aim was to compare the effects of WBV using a reciprocating platform at frequencies lower than 20 Hz and a walking-based exercise programme on BMD and balance in post-menopausal women. 

    Each vibratory session included 6 bouts of 1 min (12.6 Hz in frequency and 3 cm in amplitude with 60° of knee flexion) with 1 min rest between bouts. Each walking session was 55 minutes of walking and 5 minutes of stretching. 

    The 8-month course of vibratory exercise using a reciprocating plate is feasible and is more effective than walking to improve two major determinants of bone fractures: hip BMD and balance.

    Turner S, Torode M, Climstein M, Naughton G, Greene D, Baker MK, Fiatarone Singh MA. A randomized controlled trial of whole body vibration exposure on markers of bone turnover in postmenopausal women. J Osteoporos. 2011;2011:710387. doi: 10.4061/2011/710387. Epub 2011 Jun 27. PMID: 21772975; PMCID: PMC3135216.

    Purpose. To examine the effects of two doses of low-frequency (12 Hz), low-magnitude (0.3 g), whole body vibration on markers of bone formation and resorption in postmenopausal women.

    Conclusion. We have shown for the first time that low-frequency, low-magnitude vibration 3×/week for eight weeks in postmenopausal women results in a significant reduction in NTx/Cr, a marker of bone resorption, when compared with sham vibration exposure.

    Cheng L, Qian L, Chang S, He B. Effects of whole-body vibration training with the same amplitude and different frequencies on the proximal femoral bone density in elderly women. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2021 Jul;61(7):923-927. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11514-7. Epub 2020 Nov 4. PMID: 33146497.

    Conclusions: Whole-body vibration training with a frequency of 20 Hz and 40 Hz improved the BMD of the proximal femurs in elderly women to varying degrees but had no significant effect on femoral neck BMD. Under the same amplitude conditions, an increase in vibration frequency did not cause further changes in BMD.

    ElDeeb AM, Abdel-Aziem AA. Effect of Whole-Body Vibration Exercise on Power Profile and Bone Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Women With Osteoporosis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2020 May;43(4):384-393. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2019.12.003. Epub 2020 Aug 28. PMID: 32868028.

    Conclusion: Whole-body vibration training improved the leg muscle work and lumbar and femoral BMD in postmenopausal women with low BMD.

    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.


    High HZ vertical vibrations can be dangerous:

    Plate acceleration of the Power Plate, even at the lowest settings, show acceleration measurements well in excess of even the briefest band evaluated in the ISO threshold TLV limits. According to ISO 2631-1, daily exposure of a 31Hz WBV should not exceed even 1 minute when accelerations are greater than 5.6 m•s−2 rms (root mean square) in the vertical direction. However, surface measurements show that accelerations of the Power Plate averaged 28.7 m•s−2 (8.3g) on the low power setting, while on the high power setting the surface vibration reached 52.9 m•s−2 (15.3g).”

    Other References:

    1. Rubin, C. T.; Sommerfeldt, D. W.; Judex, S.; Qin, Y. Inhibition of osteopenia by low magnitude, high-frequency mechanical stimuli. Drug Discovery Today 2001, 6, 848-858.
    2. Stuermer, E. K.; Komrakova, M.; Sehmisch, S.; Tezval, M.; Dullin, C.; Schaefer, N.; Hallecker, J.; Stuermer, K. M. Whole body vibration during fracture healing intensifies the effects of estradiol and raloxifene in estrogen-deficient rats. Bone (New York, N.Y.) 2014, 64, 187-194.
    3. Iwamoto, J.; Sato, Y.; Takeda, T.; Matsumoto, H. Whole body vibration exercise improves body balance and walking velocity in postmenopausal osteoporotic women treated with alendronate: Galileo and Alendronate Intervention Trail (GAIT). Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions 2012, 12, 136-143.
    4. Swe, M.; Benjamin, B.; Tun, A. A.; Sugathan, S. Role of the Whole Body Vibration Machine in the Prevention and Management of Osteoporosis in Old Age: A Systematic Review. The Malaysian journal of medical sciences 2016, 23, 8-16.
    5. Barry, P. L. Good Vibrations. A new treatment under study by NASA-funded doctors could reverse bone loss experienced by astronauts in space.