POWER PLATE NEWSROOM

The myths and truths of vibration training

Tuesday, 1 May 2012 by admin

While we’ve all experienced the benefits of whole body vibration first-hand, we’re constantly faced with questions about the safety and validity of the modality. Here are the biggest myths of vibration training and what the real story is.

CLAIM: Vibration training causes long-term back pain.

Vibration has been recognized as a component in the development of back pain in people who experience long-term vibration, such as truck drivers and helicopter pilots. Vibration training may result in back pain.” [Source: http://www.livestrong.com/article/273677-risks-of-vibration-training/]

TRUTH: The long-term vibration that truck drivers and helicopter pilots are exposed to is occupational vibration. Power Plate equipment produces harmonic vibration, not occupational vibration. Unlike occupational vibration, harmonic vibration is predictable, consistent and does not cause back pain. In addition, a total-body workout on the Power Plate machine is less than 30 minutes—whereas occupational vibration exposes workers to hours of vibration.

REFERENCES:

  1. Controlled use of Acceleration Training™

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CLAIM: Vibration training causes damage to bones and connective tissue.

Stony Brook University says that although the vibration levels experienced in training machines may not cause damage, it is certainly true levels of vibration of the human body can cause damage to bone and connective tissue, an unwelcome effect for someone with retinal eye detachment, for example.” [Source: http://www.livestrong.com/article/273677-risks-of-vibration-training/]

TRUTH: Power Plate machines are certified medical devices, meaning the health claims have been proven through scientific studies. One proven benefit of Power Plate training is increased bone density—a positive effect on bones that keeps them from breaking. In addition, Power Plate vibration training helps to stimulate connective tissue, such as ligaments and tendons. This stimulation results in a reduced chance of injury during various activities. Vibration training is not recommended for those suffering from a detached retina; however, it will not cause retinal detachment.

REFERENCES:

  1. Effect of 6-Month Whole Body Vibration on Hip Density, Muscle Strength and Postural Control in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Pilot Study, Verschueren et al, 2004.

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CLAIM: Vibration training can cause brain damage.

“As reported by MSNBC, Clinton Rubin, who is a biomedical engineering professor at State University of New York at Stony Brook, is concerned about the long-term exposure to vibration and says there is the risk of brain damage. This concern stems from the chronic exposure to vibration, which is different from the occasional workout.” [Source: http://www.livestrong.com/article/273677-risks-of-vibration-training/]

TRUTH: This “long-term exposure” to vibration refers to occupational vibration, which is unpredictable and dangerous. Occupational vibration stems from handling heavy machinery, such as truck driving and construction. Power Plate equipment produces harmonic vibration which is safe, consistent and predictable. In addition, a total-body workout on the Power Plate machine is less than 30 minutes—whereas occupational vibration exposes workers to hours of vibration.

REFERENCES:

  1. Controlled use of Acceleration Training™

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CLAIM: Vibration training can cause hand injury.

“Vibration injury to the hands includes a vascular component, characterised by intermittent blanching, and a neurological component, characterised by impaired proprioception and dexterity.” [Source: http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/38/3/254.full]

TRUTH: The vibration that causes hand injury is occupational vibration, which is unpredictable and dangerous. Occupational vibration stems from handling heavy machinery, such as truck driving and construction. Power Plate equipment produces harmonic vibration which is safe, consistent and predictable. In addition, a total-body workout on the Power Plate machine is less than 30 minutes—whereas occupational vibration exposes workers to hours of vibration.

REFERENCES:

  1. Controlled use of Acceleration Training™

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CLAIM: Vibration training has not been proven safe and effective for the elderly.

“Vibration training may offer some potential musculoskeletal benefits but further research is needed to evaluate the optimum vibration protocol in terms of safety and efficacy in older people, and to evaluate its effectiveness at reducing fall incidence. There is little evidence as to the optimal vibration training protocol in this population and some interventions may be delivering ineffective or unnecessarily large exposures.” [Source: http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/38/3/254.full]

TRUTH: Power Plate has many published research studies on its health benefits for the elderly population, including increased strength, balance and stability1,2,3. Many older adult communities and specialty fitness centers serving active aging clientele utilize Power Plate vibration training to provide a safe and effective workout. These facilities4,5 have received extremely positive results and feedback.

REFERENCES:

  1. Whole Body-Vibration Training Increases Knee-Extension Strength and Speed of Movement in Older Women, Roelants et al, 2004.
  2. Effects of whole body vibration training on postural control in older individuals: A 1 year randomized controlled trial, Bogaerts et al, 2007.
  3. Impact of Whole-Body Vibration Training Versus Fitness Training on Muscle Strength and Muscle Mass in Older Men: A 1-Year Randomized Controlled Trial, Bogaerts et al, 2007.
  4. Power Plate Testimonial: Rhonda Cap, Leisure World
  5. Power Plate Testimonial: Dr. Perry Cammisa, BStrong4Life

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CLAIM: Vibration training will worsen the effects for someone with a spinal cord injury.

“Those with spinal injuries, such as slipped discs or pinched nerves may increase damage by using the machine because their body will not be able to sustain proper alignment through the vibration period.” [Source: http://www.ehow.com/about_5402299_dangers-using-power-plate.html]

TRUTH: Power Plate technology produces primarily vertical vibration which coincides directly with the gravitational pull of the earth. Those with spinal cord injuries, such as slipped discs or pinched nerves, will experience no more pain or damage on the machine than they do off of the machine. This contraindication is referring to oscillating vibration, seen in wobble boards, which tilts side-to-side with a central pivot. If you do have a spinal injury, it is suggested that you avoid movements on the Power Plate machine that your doctor has suggested you avoid altogether.

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CLAIM: Vibration training can increase your chance of a stroke.

“Those with blood clots may increase the chance of stroke.” [Source: http://www.ehow.com/about_5402299_dangers-using-power-plate.html]

TRUTH: This is an unfounded claim with no proof or references. However, just like with any new exercise program, especially if you have a medical condition, we suggest you consult your physician before you start Power Plate training. Power Plate training itself will not cause a stroke.

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CLAIM: Power Plate training can increase the chance of falling in the elderly.

“While aging women with bone density issues can most benefit from a Power Plate workout, they may increase their chances of a fall by using the machine improperly or without a spotter.” [Source: http://www.ehow.com/about_5402299_dangers-using-power-plate.html]

TRUTH: Power Plate training has been proven to improve proprioception, balance and stability. It is very difficult to use the machine improperly to the point that you may fall off. The machines have handle bars that are meant to help stabilize the user while they are on the platform. The step height on all Power Plate models is 11.8 inches, similar to stairs and other steps.

REFERENCES:

  1. Effects of whole body vibration training on postural control in older individuals: A 1 year randomized controlled trial, Bogaerts et al, 2007.

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CLAIM: Vibration training causes vision and hearing damage.

“That’s right, you can liken the possible dangerous results of the Power Plate to the possible results of shaking a baby. While adult brains are not as susceptible as a growing child, there are still risks. Clinton Rubin, a biomedical engineering professor at State University of New York at Stony Brook believes these high levels of vibration may lead to increased back pain, cartilage damage, vision and hearing loss as well as possible brain damage.” [Source: http://www.ehow.com/about_5402299_dangers-using-power-plate.html]

TRUTH: This is an unfounded claim with no proof or references. Also, Clinton Rubin sells his own vibration plate, so he may not be objective. Power Plate equipment produces harmonic vibration which is safe, consistent and predictable, so it is safe to use on a regular and controlled basis. Power Plate machines are certified medical devices and are used regularly by medical professionals, rehab centers, professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

REFERENCES:

  1. Power Plate Testimonials
  2. Power Plate User List

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CLAIM: Vibration training does not burn fat or build muscle.

“Vibration training is not a substitute for actual exercise. You can’t build much muscle or burn fat by simply standing on a vibrating plate. In fact, it won’t burn fat at all.” [Source: http://www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=vibration_training_latest_fad_or_the_real_deal]

TRUTH: Power Plate training has proven to help aid visceral fat loss and increase strength and power. Power Plate exercise programs consist of performing various exercises on the machine, not just standing on the platform. Simply standing on the machine’s platform has never been a Power Plate exercise protocol or recommended to obtain fat loss or build strength.

REFERENCES:

  1. Effect of Long Term Whole Body Vibration Training on Visceral Adipose Tissue: A preliminary Report, Vissers et al, 2010.
  2. Strength Increase after Whole Body Vibration Compared with Resistance Training, Delecluse et al, 2003.
  3. Effects of Different Magnitudes of Whole-Body Vibration on Arm Muscular Performance, Marin et al, 2010.

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CLAIM: Vibration training can increase the risk of medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalances and organ failure.

“For most people, a limit of 10-15 minutes at a time, every other day, is safe. If you try to use it like a cardio exercise machine for 30-60 minutes most days, you run the risk of problems like hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalances, and even organ failure.” [Source: http://www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=vibration_training_latest_fad_or_the_real_deal]

TRUTH: There is no evidence or research that suggests Power Plate training can cause damage such as hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalances or organ failure. Power Plate workout programs suggest using the machine 2-3 times per week, 20-30 minutes per session. Power Plate training follows the same guidelines as traditional strength training, since both methods are applying force to the body. You must allow at least one full day to let your muscles recover before training that area again. However, Power Plate training can be used every day for stretch and massage (10 minutes). Like any form of exercise, overtraining is possible with the guidelines are not followed, however, overtraining on the Power Plate has never resulted in the aforementioned medical conditions.

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CLAIM: Vibration training does not burn calories.

“If you’re looking for something you can do to burn calories without much huffing and puffing, don’t waste your money on a vibration platform. It won’t work.” [Source: http://www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=vibration_training_latest_fad_or_the_real_deal]

TRUTH: Like any piece of exercise equipment, the amount of calories burned on the Power Plate has many different variables, such as pacing, intensity and the type of exercise you are performing. Just like on a treadmill, you will burn fewer calories walking at a moderate pace than you would running a 6-minute mile. Adding vibration to your exercises will cause an elevated energy output.

REFERENCES:

  1. Effect of Long Term Whole Body Vibration Training on Visceral Adipose Tissue: A preliminary Report, Vissers et al, 2010.



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