As a disclaimer, I need to tell you I’m a little biased. I have recommended vibration plate exercises in my office for about 7 years now.
For starters, there are some things that whole body vibration is not effective for. Ironically, when searching for a whole body vibration unit to purchase online, these “benefits” seem to be what is highlighted. Instead of starting a list, I think I can sum it up in one concept. The less you exercise, the more benefits you will get from vibration plate exercises. Pretty simple.
That means that hopping on the fitness vibration machine at your local gym in between workouts is probably a pretty big waste of your time. Which seems kind of funny since there was a large push to get whole body vibration units into gyms a few years back. There were also entire clinics devoted to vibration machine weight loss programs. Seemed like bad business decisions to me.
On the flip side, for those unable to exercise for whatever reason, vibration plate exercises can have dramatic results. Post stroke. Parkinson’s disease. Alzheimer’s dementia. Multiple sclerosis. Knee arthritis. Deconditioning due to age or a sedentary lifestyle. You get the idea.
There are a few exceptions to the above rule. The benefits of vibration can also include:
- Do vibration plates work for bone health? There is some pretty positive research on bone health and osteoporosis. This research is actually what prompted me to buy my unit in the first place.
- Vibration plate exercises will also increase blood flow to the brain, so those suffering with Parkinson’s disease, cognitive decline, migraines and dementia can see benefits.
- Post injury or post-surgical rehab when stability is a concern, such as ACL-repair or a severe ankle sprain.
- Increased blood flow into the legs during vibration exercises has been shown to help with diabetic neuropathy.
Getting back to the benefits of vibration plate exercises in those who are less able to exercise. In particular, the senior population. Granted, many are very active and would find little benefit to a fitness vibration machine. However, if a senior falls into the sedentary category, this particular study shines some light on the benefits.
Researchers looked at the use of whole body vibration plate exercises 3 times / week for 1 year in comparison to a resistance and aerobic fitness training regimen at the same frequency in seniors aged 60-80. Now, if any of you have been on a whole body vibration unit before you understand that it takes very little actual effort on your part. In this study, participants did do some leg exercises like squats while on the vibration plate.
Overall, the two therapies were equally as effective at maintaining muscle mass. Not too shabby considering that whole body vibration plate exercises can be done by those seniors who are no longer able to exercise as fully as some of their peers.
Is Type-2 Diabetes an Inflammatory Disease?
This is not a new theory. Inflammation in the human body can be a devastating process and is believed to contribute to most diseases known to man. This is a nice summary of the link between inflammation and Type 2 diabetes.
The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society Dr. Steven Shoelson of the Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Massachusetts, presented the first lecture entitled, “The I-kappa B Kinase Mediates Insulin Resistance in Diabetes and Obesity.” The provocative question at the outset was — is type-2 diabetes an inflammatory disease? Certainly, patients with type-2 diabetes exhibit circulating markers of an “acute phase response,” and some of these, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha, may contribute to the pathophysiology of type-2 diabetes. However, is there a rationale for treating type-2 diabetic patients with anti-inflammatory drugs? Dr. Shoelson gave historical evidence — dating from 1876, but “rediscovered” as recently as 40 years ago — that high doses of aspirin (ASA) of the order of 10 g per day can attenuate hyperglycemia quite markedly. The Joslin investigators hypothesized that I-kappa B kinases (IKKs), key regulators of the NF-kappa B pathway of proinflammatory signaling, might be the target of ASA, since this dose is known to inhibit their activity. (Of note, much smaller doses are needed to inhibit the cyclooxygenase enzymes that are generally the target of ASA’s anti-inflammatory actions, but these doses of ASA do not appear to affect glycemia.)
Ciprofloxacin For Reactive Arthritis Has No Advantage Over Placebo
Although it is well known that certain gastrointestinal infections can cause a reactive arthritis, this study suggests that long term strong antibiotics do not help with symptoms. Unfortunately, these researchers have missed the evidence that suggests that it is not the infectious agent itself that causes the problems, but rather the environment set up by the presence of the infection. Adding strong antibiotics will just kill off more of the normal flora that’s supposed to be there, and evidence suggests that this flora may protect our bodies from the environment.
Ann Rheum Dis 2000;59:565-570 Treatment of reactive arthritis with a 3-month course of ciprofloxacin is no more beneficial than placebo, according to study results published in the July issue of Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Antibiotic treatment of reactive arthritis is controversial, the investigators note. “Eradication of the causative microbe appears logical,” but previous studies have shown that “short-term antibiotic treatment has no beneficial effect on the outcome of reactive arthritis,” they write.
Current Tests Cannot Identify Pain of Discogenic Origin
research strongly points to annular tears of the intervertebral disc as a major cause of low back pain. The problem with this is that diagnosing tears is very difficult using modern technology. The author of this study than goes on to infer that the difference between patients with and without LBP is psychological. This wouldn’t be the first time that mainstream medicine has suggested a psychologic origin for pain or symptoms that they did not know how to diagnose. Mainstream medicine has to find a STRUCTURAL problem for disease to be present. One day they will come to realize that FUNCTIONAL problems exist long, long before structural problems arise. Chiropractors have and will continue to do well treating LBP because we don’t keep ourselves limited by typical “Western Medicine” which can be very narrow minded.
The Back Letter 15(6):61,68,69, 2000 The study found that high-intensity zones (HIZs) on MRI scans – even when accompanied by a positive discogram – are not reliable indicators that pain stems from the disc. “For better or for worse, the identification of an annular tear has been one of the main tools used to diagnose the cause of low back pain, and now it looks like it’s a false start in many patients,” said Eugene Carragee, MD, lead author of the new study. Carragee says that he personally believes that annular fissures may be the cause of some forms of low back pain. However, he suggests that what distinguishes self-limiting back pain from severe, disabling low back pain illness may not be physical pathology. “I think that those with annular fissures and low back pain of no consequence may not have different spinal pathology than people with severe low back pain illness,” Carragee suggests. “However, their coping mechanisms, emotional responses, and social circumstances may be very different.”
Declines in DHEA Sulfate Concentrations and Cognitive Performance
This article suggests that no relationship exists between lowered levels of DHEA with aging and cognitive decline. There are two ways to take this. First, the proves that DHEA is another of the over the counter wonder drugs that is more hype than performance. On the other hand, this would not be the first time that researchers have found negative results with a substance that later turned out to have benefits. The idea with research is to look at the totality of the evidence, and keep an open mind until to jury is no longer out.
UK Group Sees Disaster in Direct-To-consumer Drug Advertising
So they could see it in England but not here in America…direct to consumer advertising, while a major source of funding for newspapers, magazines and TV, has led to a substantial increase in pharmaceutical sales. Common sense would suggest that advertising should have no impact whatsoever in pharmaceutical use. But no one ever said common sense was common in medicine…
(article) The Consumers’ Association warned Tuesday that if the European Commission relaxes rules banning direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising in Europe, “disastrous consequences” would follow for the UK National Health Service, leading to spiralling drugs budgets. In a new report, “Promotion of prescription drugs: public health or private profit?” — due to be published on July 18 — the association says EC proposals to relax the rules on providing information on drugs for AIDS, diabetes and asthma will lead to a US-style boom in pharmaceutical marketing targeted at consumers. The consumer group has written to EC officials and the UK Government, urging them to put “public interest before the demands of the pharmaceutical industry.” It argues that the introduction of DTC pharmaceutical advertising in the US helped fuel an 84% increase in drug bills between 1993 and 1998. Louise Ansari, spokesperson for the Consumer’s Association, said that DTC drug advertising had “had a monumental impact on drug budgets in both New Zealand and the US.”
In Utero And Perinatal Factors May Influence Asthma Risk in Children
There are many people who want to blame genetics for much of today’s chronic diseases, but I firmly believe that environment is the bigger player. As more and more studies come out implicating factors at the beginning of life in health, I feel confident that my viewpoint will become even more cemented.
Allergy 2001;56:491-497 Complications during pregnancy or delivery, illness during the first week of life and low birthweight appear to be associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma. To establish whether there is a link between asthma and events in pregnancy and early life, Dr. Isabella Annesi-Maesano from INSERM in Villejuif, France and colleagues collected data on 4065 children of 2583 mothers from the National Child Development Stud. The children, who were born in 1958, were followed into adulthood and were last interviewed in 1991, according to the report in the June issue of Allergy. Childhood asthma developed in 10.1% of the cohort. Overall, asthma was more common among children with mothers who had complications during pregnancy. The researchers also found higher rates of asthma in subjects with illness or health complications during the first week of life and birthweights below 2.5 kg. Early or threatened labor and the malposition or malpresentation of the fetus were significantly related to the development of childhood asthma, Dr. Annesi-Maesano’s team reports. “These findings among the offspring of a nationally representative birth cohort obtained after controlling for potential confounders provide further epidemiologic evidence that the risk of developing childhood asthma may be influenced to some extent by events in pregnancy and delivery,” Dr. Annesi-Maesano and colleagues conclude.
Fructo oligosaccharides in the prevention of travellers’ diarrhoea
FOS is a nondigestable carbohydrate that friendly bacteria can use as a fuel source to proliferate and help the GI tract stay healthy. This study shows some benefit to the use of FOS to reduce effects of travellers’ diarrhea. Probiotics and FOS are a nice GI preventative for anyone traveling out of the country. As a side note, there is some concern that certain harmful bacteria (namely Klebsiella) can also use FOS. A stool analysis is always a nice place to start if this is a concern to find out what the flora of the patient’s GI tract consists of.
Synergy : Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 15 (8), 1139-1145
Lymphoma, inflammatory bowel disease and immunosuppression
The idea of long term immunosupression to manage a chronic disease has always concerned me. This article reviews the concern, to include the use of the new TNF-alpha receptor blockage medications, of increase risk of lyphoma. Many, if not all, cases of inflammatory bowel disease can respond wonderfully to functional medicine concepts and lifestyle changes. The increased risk of cancer with these therapies that suppress the immune system is opposing Mother Nature, and the downstream effects of this are beyond our current knowledge.
Synergy : Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 15 (8), 1101-1108