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Emergent research has suggested that vibration therapy can be a noninvasive way to help your body relieve pain and regenerate damaged nerves. Meant to be used as a complementary treatment, vibration plate therapy is quickly growing in popularity.
New research is emerging all the time, suggesting novel and exciting ways to heal our nerves. Vibration therapy is one of these newer therapies.
In many ways, whole-body vibration therapy may simulate the effects of a low-intensity exercise. The key difference is it does so with minimal impact. Your muscles are, for lack of a better term, “tricked” into thinking that you’re exercising, thanks to the effects of what’s known as a vibration plate.
Vibration plates send vibratory pulses throughout the entire body. These pulses cause muscles to expand and contract, similar to they would during aerobic exercise. As a result, you get a similar type of stimulation and potentially similar type of benefit as exercise for neuropathy.
This not only keeps your muscles healthy, but it also encourages nerve activity, which goes a long way towards helping your nerves stay healthy. It also encourages blood circulation, meaning you’re sending nourishing, oxygen-rich blood to the parts of your body that need it most.
When your nerves are beginning to die off, part of the problem is often that they’re not able to be reached with nutrients and reparation compounds that help to keep them alive. Your blood acts as a delivery system for these compounds, and exercise helps you to pack your blood with extra oxygen. All that oxygenated blood gets circulated throughout your body, encouraging nerve growth along the way.
Supporters of vibration machines say these vibrations make your muscles work harder and can help you lose fat, build muscle, and get stronger.
At this time, there’s a limited amount of high-quality research looking at the effectiveness of these claims with more research needed.
Additional benefits claimed for whole body vibration therapy include:
Warning: If you have a pacemaker, a heart condition, or cancer, talk to your doctor before using vibration therapy.
Related: Does Vibration Work for Neuropathy?
What to Look for When Buying
Safety The quality and price range of whole-body vibration platforms vary widely. You might be tempted to buy a less expensive standing vibration plate without handles, but these are not recommended for peripheral neuropathy because they are not stable enough for anyone with weakened muscles or balance issues. Instead, an upright unit with sturdy handles is a much safer option.
Type of Vibration Another very important factor to consider is the type of vibration. Vibration plates move with one of two types of movement: linear or oscillating. Oscillation (in other words, the vibration makes sweeping movements) can cause pain in your joints if the movements are too big. Rather, it is important that you select a vibration plate with a very small vibration pattern to avoid any unnecessary joint pressure.
Maximum Weight Let’s face it, a lot of weight on a small vibrating motor will take its toll. Look for the maximum weight rating for the device as an indication of how well the device will hold up to your particular weight.
Variable Speeds You’ve heard the rule, “Too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing.” This applies when using at-home therapies for neuropathy, like vibration. With that in mind, you need to be able to start at very low speeds, and slowly work up incrementally. So your vibration therapy device needs to give you that ability.
Here are two full-body vibration platform therapy units we like.
Related: Does Vibration Work for Neuropathy?
Bluefin Professional Vibration Platform
The Pro Vibration Plate by Bluefin Fitness is a top choice for whole-body vibration therapy. Not only does it meet the demands for the right type of vibration movement, but also has 180 levels of speed settings.
While whole-body vibration plates are notorious for being noisy, the Bluefin Fitness is known to be one of the quieter models at under 55dB in volume.
Built for professional and home use, the German design motor is built to last a lifetime. In fact, Bluefin Fitness gives a lifetime warranty on the motor itself.
This latest model has many great features including:
- built-in speakers
- pre-programmed workout routines
- body mass index calculator
- calorie burning monitor
This model is considered easy to put together in under an hour and customer service is reported to handle any issues quickly.
- 330-pound maximum user weight
- Linear vibration
- 180-degree range of intensity
- Frequency Range: 3.3-10.6Hz
- Speed Range 1-180
- Vibration type: Linear Vibration
- Exercise cords included for upper body workout
- Instructions in English, German, Spanish, French, and Italian
- US, UK, and EU power cords included
Confidence Slim Full Body Vibration Platform
The Confidence Slim Full Body Vibration Platform is a good choice for its ease of maneuverability with wheels and fairly lightweight body at 70lbs. Reviewers of this model are pleased with the functionality. But like most whole-body vibration platforms, reviewers warn that you can expect to replace it after about one year
- 300-pound user maximum weight
- 50-speed settings
- Compact design: 29″w x 27.5″d x 48″h
- Weights 70 lbs
- Includes wheels for easy maneuverability
Whole-body vibration therapy is one simple way to augment your nerve damage home self-treatment, but it doesn’t stand on its own. Where possible, it is best to address the sources of nerve damage. When that’s not an option, the best home treatment for nerve damage includes working towards a healthy lifestyle, including diet, exercise, restorative sleep, and stress management. Using therapies like whole-body vibration can help you boost your body’s healing ability and calm your symptoms at the same time.
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