Benefits of Whole Body Vibration (WBV)

GForce WBVWhether you are an avid runner, soccer mom or weekend warrior – everyone is trying their best in today’s fast pace world to maintain optimal health and fitness through breakthrough technology and exercises. Current fads include dry needling, cupping, tabata/HITT workouts and most recently Whole Body Vibration therapy (WBV). Now WBV isn’t exactly new, but is resurfacing as an effective treatment to increase bone density and maintain/restore muscle strength. Vibration therapy has been used for thousands of years and was first well acknowledged in 2002 when NASA implemented vibration therapy to fight muscle atrophy (wasting) and bone density loss with their astronauts on space missions. Recent research has found that WBV is beneficial for seasoned athletes, pulmonary patients (COPD), neurologic diagnosis (CP and Parkinson’s disease), as well as the aging patient.

Treatments usually consist of the patient holding a static position(s) for 3-10 minutes. The main principle behind WBV is that a patient is exposed to 3D vibrations while standing/lying on the vibrating platform. The rapid vibrations force muscles to contract to maintain your position which ultimately provides a form of exercise. The vibrations stimulate muscle spindles and alpha motor neurons causing relaxation/contraction of muscles to enhance neuromuscular learning. Weight bearing along with vibratory perturbations will help to stimulate bone growth to avoid or reduce the effects of osteoporosis and loss of bone density in community dwelling adults. Significant improvements in gait speed and balance were also noted due to WBV mimicking natural perturbations during ambulation.

Benefits of WBV:

  • Increased bone density
  • Increased muscle and tendon strength
  • Improved muscle performance (power and coordination)
  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved circulation
  • Increased body awareness
  • Improve walking/functional balance
  • Pain reduction
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Decreased spasticity
  • Improved lymphatic drainage

Contraindications:

  • Acute injuries
  • Unhealed/recent fractures
  • Recent arthroplasty (joint replacement)
  • Cancer
  • Kidney/Gall stones
  • Pregnant women

WBV is a newly accepted form of treatment, and research has proven that WBV can be beneficial to a variety of diagnoses and populations. If you are interested in learning more about WBV or starting a WBV therapy program, ask your trusted Synergy physical therapist or check out the ‘Synergy Recovery Room’ for more details and other therapy options.

Kayla Roof, SPT

Student Physical Therapist

Synergy Manual Physical Therapy – South Office

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ergonomics of RELAXATION

Most people think about ergonomics when they’re at a computer in an office. But what about during other activities that are more for relaxation—like gaming, watching a movie or just checking Facebook on your phone? Ergonomics applies to all the things we use our body for during the day—not just when you’re in the office at a desk. Here are some tips for activities that most of us do at some point during the day.

Checking your Phone

You may have heard the term “tech neck” or “text neck.” Well, it’s for real folks. Don’t bend your head over to view your phone or tablet. Instead move the device up into the viewing range OF YOUR EYES. That may mean propping a pillow under your elbows in order to maintain the viewing height for prolonged periods while in a seated position. Or just raising your hand to the level of your face in order to view the screen. And remember, your eyeballs can move! So, you can look down at your phone just by MOVING YOUR EYES and NOT your head.

Think about it this way: See the graphic below? Dr. Ken Hansraj did some pretty cool research to find out exactly how much pressure there is on the human neck when you bend your head forward to look at your phone. Even just a slight forward movement of the neck to view your phone can exponentially increase the amount of pressure on your spine, discs and muscles. At just 30 degrees of forward neck flexion, you get 40lbs of pressure…that’s equivalent to a 5 gallon jug of water! Check out the infographic from DegreeSearch.org to get an idea of just how much pressure you are putting on your neck.

weight

text neck copy


Via: DegreeSearch.org <http://degreesearch.org>

Watching TV

If your favorite chair is not ergonomically positioned in front of your TV, you are most likely craning your neck in order to view the show. Maintaining your neck in a rotated position for prolonged periods can cause joint dysfunction and muscle tension and/or imbalance which can lead to neck pain, headaches and even jaw pain. So, when you sit down tonight to watch your favorite flick, think about moving your furniture around to accommodate better viewing angles.

Gaming

Think about the posture of gaming exactly like you would if you were in the office. You must have the control/joystick/keyboard at the right height for your arms. You must have the TV/monitor at the right height for your eyes. And finally you must support your spine in an upright posture.

CRW_1831Kelly BW

copyright 2009 CPTC

Reading a Book

Whether it’s a real book with paper pages or a digital book on your tablet, don’t bend your head down to view the pages (remember the graphic above!). Raise the pages up to your eyes. That may mean propping a pillow under your elbows in order to maintain the viewing height for prolonged periods while in a seated position. If you are lying down or reclining, perhaps bend your knees and support them with a pillow, then prop the book on another pillow on top of your knees.

Internet Surfing

If you spend more than about 15-30 minutes checking email, checking Facebook or hunting for that perfect pair of shoes, you need to arrange for proper ergonomics. If you’re using a tablet or phone, it may be as easy as using pillow to prop the device as described in the “Reading a Book” section above. But if you’re using laptop, you should really consider a docking station at a table or desk so that your neck and arms are at the proper level. Check out the Workrite Ergonomics website for details on proper ergonomics. Don’t slouch, get off the couch! You know who you are if this pic looks familiar!

6 ways to combat text neck.

Longus coli strengthening:

 

Noodle thoracic spine laying:

CRW_1659Jill BW

copyright 2009 CPTC

 

Pec doorway stretch:

Pec stretch door

copyright 2009 CPTC

 

Supine stability ball:

CRW_1715Ryan BW

copyright 2009 CPTC

 

Theraband Lat pull-downs:

 

Standing theraband row:

 

Blog by:

Kelli Crosby, PT, COMT

Physical Therapist/Owner – South Location

 

Squats: The King of All Exercises

The squat is one of the most popular exercises performed in gyms around the world. Squatting provides core, hip and leg strength along with endurance and injury prevention benefits. It also provides the health benefits of raising metabolic rate and helping to maintain a healthy body weight. Correct form is key when performing squats, whether you are using a weighted barbell or simply using your own body weight for resistance. The lack of proper form while squatting can lead to all sorts of injuries from herniated discs to torn ligaments.

Let’s break down the form needed to execute a safe and effective squat. To start feet should be just wider than shoulder width apart with the toes slightly angled outward. During the repetition the knees should not cave inward and should stay over the feet with the knees never shifting forward past the toes. The back should remain flat throughout the duration of the repetition. To help to ensure this, pull the shoulders back and keep your chest up. If your back begins to round forward while squatting, that is an indicator that you are either using too much weight or need to adjust how low you are squatting and not sink as low. It is also important to maintain a slow and controlled speed throughout the repetition. It is important to make sure to keep your weight on your heels, and not shifting your weight forward over your toes as this adds extra stress to your knees and can result in injury. If you are new to squats it is wise to practice them using just your body weight. And if you are worried about falling, use a sink or counter to hang on to with your hands and have a chair close behind you to catch you.

You can also check out the advice and tips we found on this YouTube video:

Squats are very functional exercises and are used in our daily routines. Whether or not you notice it, we all squat every day. We squat when we stand up out of bed and get up from chairs and couches. Not to mention that we squat when performing activities such as picking up and moving furniture. Along with strengthening muscles, weight bearing exercises like squats also strengthen tendons, ligaments, and bones. Weight bearing exercises also help to prevent osteoporosis.

In addition, squats burn a high number of calories because of the sheer number of muscles that are engaged during the exercise. The benefit of this is an increase in lean muscle mass, which helps to raise your body’s natural daily metabolic rate. This, combined with proper diet, can help to maintain a healthy weight.

As you can see, when the right form, weight and safety procedures are used while squatting, the health benefits from this exercise greatly outnumber the risks that are associated with squats.

 

Peter Hammersmark

Physical Therapist Technician

North Office