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October 30, 2009 at 8:20 pm #11265HeidiModerator
Vibration as Therapy: Other News of Interest
Good Vibrations: Aging Bones May Benefit From a Good Shaking
While running and jumping are some of the best ways to maintain or improve bone strength and help prevent fractures, they arenâ€™t the safest activities for the frail, elderly or physically impaired. Dr Belinda Beck, senior lecturer at Griffith Universityâ€™s School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, said there
was some evidence that low intensity loading performed at a sufficiently high frequency may also improve bone mass. She has recently received funding to test the effects of a whole body vibration device â€” a platform that participants stand on while it vibrates at up to 30 cycles per second. â€œBone generally responds to exercise that is high intensity but older people canâ€™t do that without the risk of hurting themselves. We need a stimulus that is effective on bone but does not cause damage.â€ Dr Beck said the device was originally designed to enhance muscle strength in athletes as the vibration forces muscles to contract more. It was also likely to help improve balance.
â€œWhole body vibration offers an opportunity to improve bone strength, muscle strength and balance â€” three of the known risk factors for hip fractures in the elderly.â€ The vibration device will be installed in a retirement village on the Gold Coast, providing easy access for women over 65 years of age who choose to participate in the study.
Osteoporosis-related fractures are most common in older women, particularly those with other risk factors such as low body weight, a history of low calcium intake, and little or no physical activity.
â€œThis is a simple, low intensity alternative that is perfect for people who canâ€™t do more strenuous physical activity,â€ Dr Beck said.
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Griffith University
December 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm #12903AnonymousInactive
Affiliations: This project was supported by the University of Minnesota’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
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