Vibration therapy is a therapeutic action of mechanical vibrations, which are in direct contact with the tissues of the patient’s body. Thanks to its effectiveness and possible combination with other physiotherapeutic methods, vibration therapy plays a significant role in rehabilitating patients suffering from motor and sensory disorders.
According to modern concepts, vibration therapy increases local blood circulation, ameliorates lymph outflow, activates tissue trophism, stimulates the hypothalamic system, and mobilizes the body’s adaptive capabilities.
The physiological actions of vibration therapy have mechanical, physical, chemical, and thermal impacts on the human body. The degree of applied primary mechanisms, which form the entire complex of physiological and therapeutic responses, depends on the intensity and parameters of the action (frequency, amplitude), conditions, and impact location.
The human body is able to support and accurately differentiate from 10 to 8,000 Hz; however, it is best to use a range between 10 and 200 Hz when carrying out this physiological act.
Impulses are transmitted from vibroreceptors to the central nervous system through the anterior horns of the spinal cord. Afferent impulses can be seen in the parietal area of the cerebral cortex. Elicited by stimulation in proprioceptors, these afferent flows form the body’s local, segmental, and general responses.
Mechanical vibrations measuring 20 – 50 Hz provoke selective excitation of mechanoreceptors in blood vessels, as well as autonomic neural conductors, expanding blood vessels, increasing local blood and lymph circulation, helping to reduce muscle tone, and activating trophic processes in body tissues.
Mechanical vibrations applied at higher frequencies (100 – 200 Hz) cause afferent impulses to flow from Pacini corpuscles and thick myelinated fibers to upper areas of the central nervous system.
Vibrations have an effect on biologically active points, forming reflex types of reactive responses, which develop in different body systems and organs. At the same time, there is an increase in the functional lability of neural and muscular synapses and the conductivity of the neural horn cells.
In general, these vibrations have an effect on 100% of all the muscle fibers. At the same time, the contractility of muscles increases, and metabolism augments without any accumulation of lactic acid, which enables the muscles to recover more quickly after exercise sessions, and accelerates the repair process following muscle injuries, by blocking afferent pain signals and destroying muscle trigger points.
Vibrations help muscles relax, improve muscle tension, and increase movement volume.
Vibration therapy activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system and increases levels of glucocorticoids in the blood. Vibration stimulants activate muscle enzymes - succinate dehydrogenase and cytochrome oxidase, oxygen reduction processes in the myocardium – intensifies liver tissue respiration, and improves the assimilation of oxygen into tissues.
Vibration therapy increases the elasticity of ligaments and tendons, augments mobility in joints and ligaments, normalizes the trophic process, and favours the full release of synovial fluid.
Symptoms calling for vibration treatment:
- • muscle shortening (tight muscles) in the legs, appearance of muscle triggers (spasticity of various origins), including spasticity in CP patients;
- • specific condition after fractures, spinal and limb injuries;
- • distended tendons and limb muscles;
- • multiple sclerosis;
- • post-stroke rehabilitation (optimal regimen – amplitude of 3 mm, frequency of 30 Hz);
- • tendinitis in the Achilles tendon;
- • imbalance;
- • insufficiency in peripheral blood circulation.
- • acute inflammatory processes;
- • complex forms of generalized epilepsy;
- • rheumatic disease exacerbation;
- • stones in the gall bladder or urinary bladder;
- • thrombosis, increased chance of blood coagulation;
- • heart failure, heart rhythm disorders;
- • post-operative condition, including the patient’s condition following heart surgery (shunts, stents, artificial valves, cardiac pacemakers);
- • bone implants;
- • pregnancy;
- • migraines;
- • neoplasms.
The complex effects of these mechanical and physical factors, just as dosed traction, mechanical massage treatments applied to paravertebral areas, and vibrations using variable frequencies and heat effects are conducive to relaxing certain muscle groups and mobilizing joints in the spinal column.
Vibration massage techniques help stretch and mobilize muscles, decompress intervertebral discs, relax muscles, and improve blood circulation and metabolism in paravertebral muscles.
A program is developed for each patient according to the doctor’s indications. The patient’s general condition is evaluated and monitored during the entire procedure.
The patient’s general condition and his/her emotional behaviour are evaluated and monitored during the entire procedure. The procedure lasts up to nine minutes; it should be performed according to schedule. The vibratory cushion is switched off and the current supply is shut down at the end of the work day.