It has been well publicised that low impact, non-weight-bearing exercise may be beneficial to the relief of fibromyalgia symptoms. In addition to contributing to a greater sense of wellbeing, the reported advantages of light and regular exercise may include an improvement in:
– pain and stiffness
– fatigue levels
– sleeping patterns
Suggested activities suitable for fibromyalgia sufferers range from walking and biking, to warm water swimming and light aerobics. You can read a little more about these forms of exercise in some our previous blog posts, by following the links below:
Despite the benefits of these forms of exercise, some patients of fibromyalgia still harbour fears that any form of physical activity will impact negatively on their pain levels. However, according to Tony Kaleth, Associate Professor of the School of Phyical Education & Tourism Management (Indiana), the danger of avoiding exercise altogether is that it can result in a sedentary lifestyle:
So is there another answer?
Kaleth and his team of researchers, at the University of Indiana, have been investigating a form of exercise that involves vibrating the whole body. According to an article in medical news today, this method of whole-body vibration: “involves standing, sitting or lying on a machine with a vibrating platform that causes muscles to contract and relax as the machine vibrates.”
A report in the online journal medicaldaily.com describes the technique as being:
“meant to simulate the effects of actual exercise, but in a more passive form.”
Research into whole-body vibration as an alternative treatment for fibromyalgia has been investigated in a number of international clinical trials. If you want to do some further reading, links to several studies can be found on the NCBI resources page, here.
Where can I find a whole-body vibration machine?
Whole-body vibration machines are widely available to purchase in sports retail outlets, on the internet and you may even find one in your local gym. However, before you rush out to try one, please ensure that you first consult your GP who can assess whether this is a suitable form of complimentary treatment for you particular condition.
Is whole-body vibration an effective form of treatment for my fibromyalgia symptoms?
Although the judges are still out as to the effectiveness of this new form of therapy, Kaleth reports that fibromyalgia patients who have trialed this method, have reported improvements in:
– muscle spasticity
– pain in select populations
A word of warning
An article written by the Mayo Clinic suggests that, whilst whole-body vibration can prove beneficial to your health, it should certainly not be seen as a replacement for regular exercise and a healthy diet:
“And because whole-body vibration can be harmful in some situations, check with your doctor before using it, especially if you’re pregnant or have any health problems.”
Have you tried out whole-body vibration as a complimentary treatment for your own fibromyalgia symptoms? Did you feel any beneficial effects, or did you have a negative experience? As always, we’d really appreciate your opinions.
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.