Proprioception has been described as a sixth sense, one that regulates the body’s balance and movement based on stimuli noted subconsciously. Without even thinking about it, you stand up straight and coordinate your movements as you go about your day. Few people have to concentrate to put one foot in front of the other, but those who do find vibration therapy helps.
Yes, those vibrating platforms – often accompanied by silly handles or bands to be wrapped around your waist – really do help your body in many ways. You won’t drop 20 pounds by standing on one for an hour, but a few minutes a day will go a long way in helping you feel and perform better. This is especially true when use is paired with specific exercises aimed at different abilities or muscle groups.
Vibration platforms improve proprioception by:
- Creating rapid micro-responses that tone core muscles
- Training the body and brain to communicate differently
- Lowering inflammation, pain and harmful hormones like cortisol
Whole body vibration (WBV) is an established therapy widely used for treating problems affecting mobility, gait and posture. It’s extremely effective when used with the proper guidance.
Increasing Strength, Muscle Mass and Improved Mobility
The loss of feeling and control is common in people suffering from poor proprioception. In fact, one of the tests used to assess your condition involves manipulating your fingertips, hands and forearms until you can feel your body moving. Over time you lose muscle tone and strength, which works against your recovery. WBV reverses these symptoms with little work on your part and prepares your body to heal.
In addition, vibration works by stimulating muscle receptors and triggering a physical response. When this occurs, other receptors are also triggered. When paired with the right muscle manipulations, you can reteach the body to react normally. Vibration can be used to correct the slack gaits of stroke patients. WBV therapy is also helpful in reversing the curvature of the spine associated with scoliosis.
Patients today can replace painful, invasive treatments with WBV therapy under the direction of a qualified physical therapist.
Other Benefits to Using a Vibrating Platform
For patients with severe mobility issues, any kind of exercise program can be an obstacle. WBV helps you begin treatments when few options are available. While it’s best when paired with other exercises, you will see benefits when used on its own.
Specifically, research shows that cortisol levels drop after just 10 minutes of vibration therapy. This is the hormone linked to depression. Lower your cortisol levels, and you’ll find your motivation and outlook are improved. That simple change in attitude can have a big impact on the results of your efforts and your quality of life.
Studies also demonstrate an increase in human growth hormone after a treatment. This is one reason vibration is so adept at building muscle mass. It’s easy to maximize the effectiveness of strength training when you pair it with sessions of WBV.
For patients with proprioception problems, a quality vibration plate and guidance from a trained physical therapist will quickly lead to progress. Reclaim control of your body and improve how you look and feel by adding a few minutes of WBV to your weekly routine.