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Orthopedic Vibrating Exercise does not Prevent Bone Loss

Posted by floriza in Orthopedics

An orthopedics study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in November 2011 shows that an exercise program that involves whole body vibration has been unable to prevent bone loss and promote greater bone density, as had been hoped. The study was conducted on postmenopausal women for one year by orthopedics researchers from the University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, Canada on postmenopausal women.

The whole-body vibration (WBV) exercise involves a vibrating platform that is operated by a motor. The patient stands on the small platform, which is about the size of a bathroom scale, and it oscillates and vibrates. The idea is that the platform provides the same kind of pressure on the bones as weight-bearing exercises without requiring as much strenuous effort from the patient.

The study, however, shows that the theory does not work. Strenuous weight-bearing activity is still required in order to prevent bone density loss.

The Orthopedics Study Participants

Just over 200 women, averaging age 60, participated in the study. None of the women studied were taking orthopedic medications. One group stood on the whole-body vibration platform for 20 minutes each day for the study period of one year. The control group did not engage in the vibration exercise.

All of the women in the study took supplements of calcium and vitamin D. When bone density and bone structure measurements were taken via X-ray absorptiometry and CT scans, no significant difference was found between the women who participated in WBV and the control group. The bone measurements were taken at the lumbar spine, hip, forearm, and lower leg.

The article about the study was titled, “Effects of 12 Months of Whole-Body Vibration (WBV) on Bone Density and Structure in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” University Health Network is affiliated with the University of Toronto.

What is Osteoporosis?

A condition that causes the bones to lose strength and density, making them brittle and prone to fracture, osteoporosis is especially common in women. The most frequently broken bones in women with osteoporosis are bones of the hip, the spine, and the wrist.

Statistics show that women over the age of 50 have a 50 percent chance of experiencing a fracture due to loss of bone density or osteoporosis.

Orthopedists in New Jersey, New York, and across the world recommend that women do the following to prevent osteoporosis:

  • Take calcium and vitamin D supplements
  • Eat calcium-rich and vitamin D-rich foods
  • Get enough sun exposure to assist the body in producing vitamin D since few foods contain the vitamin
  • Perform weight-bearing exercises regularly


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