Vibration therapy for low back pain sounds contradictory to most doctors and therapists that I talk to. This is usually the case when they are unaware or lack information about the advances in vibration therapy. I was out a few nights ago with a group of orthopedic surgeons and chronic pain specialists. One of the surgeons asked me what I can do for someone with chronic low back pain that has been resistant to their current rehabilitation program. When I recommended vibration therapy for low back pain, some of them began rolling their eyes. This article goes through some of the questions I got from doctors that did not know anything about vibration therapy. It’s a great article to direct your own therapist or doctor if they are unaware of the technology themselves. Here are some of the statements and questions of our conversation:
It’s obvious that one would jump to this conclusion. Through school, we’ve been taught that ‘whole body vibration’ is a factor in low back pain. Truck drivers that sit for long periods of time get low back pain. Those that use jackhammers tend to develop what we call Raynaud’s Phenomenon. The source of the misinformation comes from the simple fact that some people named this technology whole body vibration, not taking into consideration ‘bad’ whole body vibration.
There is a big difference. Whole body vibration therapy is based on short duration of muscle stimulation through platforms that requires an individual to be in various exercise or rehabilitation positions. Occupational whole body vibration is used hours a day and the results are cumulative over years. Whole body vibration therapy increases circulation while occupational vibration decreases circulation. The original name for this technology was Biomechanical Muscle Stimulation. That would have made more sense.
You’ll be surprised that there is a lot of research being conducted in universities and hospitals across the world, with articles being published in peer reviewed journals. There’s been well over 250 articles published within the last 5 years. When you consider the amount of research that is published with various other forms of technology, vibration therapy research is gaining acceptance and credibility. The reason why some doctors may not be aware of the research is because it may not be in the field that they specialize in. Strength journals, rehabilitation journals, and physiology journals are some of the most utilized journals for publishing vibration therapy research.
Any technology, if used incorrectly, has the risk of causing more harm than good. However, vibration therapy for back pain has been shown to be effective. That’s why we’ve created our vibration membership site. One of the modules we offer is for low back pain. That’s based on years of practical experience and feedback from therapists across the world. We understand that any technology, including vibration therapy for low back pain, requires proper protocols. If a therapist or doctor is aware of proper protocols, there is a greater chance of success.
This is always an interesting question. I asked the physicians if they’ve ever heard of pelvic stabilization training for low back pain. Most said no. The point is, we all specialize in our own areas. These are some of the top experts in low back pain surgery. They know more about back surgery than I could ever find out myself. They have their scope of practice, and vibration therapy for low back pain may not be in their scope of practice, although it’s quite evident in the scope of rehabilitation professionals. The best thing to do for any doctor or therapist is to seek out proper information about any new treatment strategy.
This can be done through online research, or simply asking other health professionals in the field about that technology. With the right information out there, more and more health professionals will begin to understand that vibration therapy for low back pain is the cure rather than the cause.
Dr. Jasper Sidhu has been using vibration platforms for over 10 years in rehabilitation, sports, fitness and weight loss settings. In addition to hands on treatment of patients and clients in these settings, he has lectured at various universities and medical association meetings on the application of vibration training.