Vibration improves balance in fibromyalgia

I found the following article really interesting.  I was diagnosed in 2001 with FMS and have poor balance which causes me to tumble at times.  I look forward to seeing how the results come out in longer studies.

Vibration improves balance in fibromyalgia

Vibration improves balance in fibromyalgia

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Tilt platform vibration helps women with fibromyalgia develop better balance, Spanish researchers have found.

Nearly half of fibromyalgia patients have poor balance, the authors note. While whole body vibration has been shown to improve balance, bone mass, and motor capacity in older people, until now there have been no controlled studies of intensive vibration therapy using a tilt platform in people with fibromyalgia.

A research team led by Dr. Narcis Gusi, from the University of Extremadura in Caceres recruited 41 women with fibromyalgia, ages 41 to 65, and randomized 21 to vibration therapy. The 20 women in the control group received usual care with no physical therapy.

The intervention involved 3 sessions per week for 12 weeks, with a tilt platform providing low-frequency (12.5 Hertz) anteroposterior vibration. Each session included a 10-minute warm-up of slow walking followed by six repetitions of vibration for up to 60 seconds each.

In the intervention group, two subjects quit because of scheduling conflicts and one because of acute pain in the legs, while two in the control group dropped out due to lack of interest.

In intent-to-treat analysis, the dynamic balance index improved by 36% in the vibration group but remained unchanged in the control group. Women with the worst balance and heaviest weight at baseline had the greatest improvements (p < 0.001).

In their March 16th online report in Arthritis Care & Research, the researchers say the tilt vibration therapy has the potential “to help reduce bone mass loss and improve strength and speed, which are critical for reacting and preventing stumbles and falls.”

However, longer term studies are needed to see if the results translate into clinical benefits, such as a reduction in falls or changes in pain thresholds.

Arthritis Care Res 2010.

Further reading on Fibromyalgia

Living with Fibromyalgia: new edition by Christine Craggs-Hinton

The Fibromyalgia Handbook: A 7-Step Program to Halt and Even Reverse Fibromyalgia by Harris H. McIlwain and Debra Fulghum Bruce

Fibromyalgia for Dummies by Roland Staud MD and Christine Adamec

Fibromyalgia: Understanding and Getting Relief from Pain That Won’t Go Away by Don L. Goldenberg

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