Why Whole Body Vibration Therapy (WBVT) Works
Why whole body vibration therapy (wbvt) works in performance enhancement and rehabilitation
· The most apparent benefit is in the name itself, whole body vibration. As the plate vibrates up and down acceleration upwards is created, therefore a relative increase in gravitational load is applied. Say what, this means we are using more muscle fibres at a greater frequency to maintain upright.
· Normally when we are standing or moving we do not engage all our muscles. When our muscles are receiving vibration stimuli it is activating the muscle stretch reflexes located in the centre of each of our muscles. When our stretch reflexes are activated our muscles are signalled to contract to prevent injury from overstretching. Therefore with WBVT the stretch reflexes make sure all our muscles are engaged. Current studies suggest there is a 250% increase in training effectiveness vs ground based training.
· I can see how this may work in performance enhancement, but how does this help my sore back or knee? Well, let’s think about it, vibration enhances muscle activity, injury mostly pain which = disinhibition of muscle activity meaning poor ability to stabilise and create good control around joints with pain. When a vibration stimuli is applied to injured tissue it not only enhances synchronicity of muscle activity but also enhances blood flow, neural input, growth factor hormones, lymphatic flow (enhancing recovery through expelling muscle by products from exercise) and greater proprioception meaning improved posture and control of joints during movement.
· Scientific evidence also demonstrates that vibration stimuli to a muscle that is not too intense (<20hz) and does not last too long (<5min) can enhance a muscles ability to create force within the next few hours. This is great for those warming up for an event that same day who need that tiny edge over their competitors.
Exercises are performed using Whole Body Vibration Therapy, often to prolong performance and rehabilitation
Joel Watkins (APAM)
Photo courtesy of http://au.hypervibe.com/blog/the-5-best-exercise-moves-for-vibration-machines-you%E2%80%99ve-ever-seen/