In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of whole body vibration therapy in females with active rheumatoid arthritis. The authors concluded that this therapy can improve functional ability, preserve bone mass and decrease fatigue in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can experience on-going pain, swollen joints and a limited ability to carry out daily tasks. Limited mobility can lead to a reduction in bone mass and bone mineral density (BMD), which is a measure of calcium and other minerals in the bones (an indicator of bone strength). All of these factors lead to a more inactive lifestyle and a reduced quality of life for RA patients.
Physical exercise has already proven to be an effective therapy for RA. These exercises are not always possible for patients depending on their level of mobility. Whole body vibration (WBV) has been suggested as a possible alternative to these exercises. This involves standing on a platform that sends vibrations through the feet, legs, trunk and head and requires minimal effort and movement by patients.
Methods & findings
31 female patients with active RA were included in this study to see if WBV therapy is effective for improving mobility.
One group of patients took part in two 15 minute WBV sessions per week for 12 weeks. Another group of patients carried out their normal activities for the 12 weeks (control group). All patients filled out a health questionnaire. BMD, physical activity and disease activity were also measured in both groups.
The WBV group of patients reported a significant increase in their ability to perform day to day tasks after the treatment. This improvement was still evident at a three month follow-up visit. No significant improvement was reported by the control group. BMD in the hip was decreased in the control group but the WBV group showed no decrease. Overall BMD was improved in the WBV group compared to the control group. The WBV group also reported an improvement in fatigue levels which was not seen in the control group.
The bottom line
This study concluded that WBV therapy can improve functional ability and fatigue levels and can also help to preserve bone strength in the hip in females with RA.
The fine print
This study was only carried out on female patients. Vitamin D, calcium intake and menopausal status were not taken into account but may have affected the results.
Consult with your physician about effective treatments for rheumatoid arthritis.
Published By :
Apr 13, 2016
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I have RA and I also have a vibrating machine. I read about using my machine and tried it on a low level. OMG….I am in agony. My RA is focused on my right arm and I am unable yo move it now. I really thought it would help me but I’m afraid it hasnt
Hi Kathy, sorry to hear you was in agony from trying the machine. That’s really not good, have you tried using it again since posting or did you not bother? Let me know how you get on please?
I’m 32 years old, and riddled with RA and other problems, currently awaiting a total new knee replacement, I’m not strong enough for the recovery, and my RA is too active.
I’ve just ordered a powerplate without doing research (silly of me, and not like me actually) now reading the things I have online, I’m 50/50 with whether it’s going to do me any good or more harm.
Would be brilliant to hear how you got on, if you have time.
Hope your well
My father bought one and I can say It’s kind of painful if used as instructed, but when I used it sitting down and with my feet together it was way better. Next I’ll do the same but with my hands on my knees and just for like one or two minutes to start. You can try it that way, good luck 👍🏼🍀
I’ve been doing WBV for years now and I can only say, now that I have RA, I’m so thankful. Low speeds are more effective than high speeds. Take it slow. It is recommended 10 mins. at a time or per day, which I do. I cannot rest my arms on it, as I cannot put weight on my forearms. I will continue as it is one of the few things that gets me moving, give me energy and gets the circulation flowing. If it bothers your neck, bend your knees a bit. The leg massage with your leg across the machine at a speed of about 30-40 is amazing and gets the circulation going in those stiff limbs. I have a machine at home which I bought second hand. So grateful for this invention, which was invented for the Russian cosmonauts as a means of exercise while in close quarters. Keep trying, even if it’s for 5 mins. twice a day at a low speed. Even 1 is effective. Over 15, not so much. All the best.
I LOVE vibration therapy! I have severe RA, take a myriad of medications, and was exhausted 100% of the time. I use the vibration plate daily for 15 minutes. My energy has increased and my pain has decreased. Best investment in my health I have ever made!
I am extremely well-versed on self-healing practices specifically related to corrective exercise and holistic lifestyle modifications. I am a huge fan of Whole Body Vibration (WBV) and would like to offer a few thoughts…
There are two things to keep in mind, 1- the type of vibration you are using and, 2- what type of exercises / patterns you choose to perform.
Some brands of vibration plates are extremely aggressive and would be too much for a high-performance athlete, much less someone who’s seeking to heal from RA. For anyone with RA, it is key to choose a plate that has harmonic vibration and is considered a certified medical device.
As for the type of exercises, it is imperative to listen to your body and progress at a pace that best matches your capabilities. I would start out just a few minutes a day keep in mind that everything you do is amplified with vibration, so if you use poor posture and fail to properly absorb the vibration, you may find the experience to be overbearing.
I have RA for 20 years. I used WBV for 6 years, I did it all wrong on high speed, 30-40 min 2 times daily. I had lots of energy and I felt strong. I developed neck problems because I used it wrongly.
After 2 years pose, I stared to get very weak and loosing balance. I decided to buy it again and now I am using it correctly every day 5 min on lower speed and I feel much stronger and better my balance improved also. Since I had knee replacement I am more careful. I will not give up I know it will be better eventually. Hope it will work for you also!
That is great to hear!!! You got this!
Slower is better. Some folks think if they get on there and set it at 20 or more it’s going to be more effective. This is not the case. A speed of 1 is effective. Bend the knees to keep head and neck from bobbling. You don’t have to do anything but stand on it, and it will be effective.