Many professional football teams and other sport teams have Whole Body Vibration (WBV) equipment in their training camps for conditioning and recovery from injuries. Improved flexibility, balance, and reaction time along with faster healing of muscle and tendon injuries make this equipment extremely valuable to a number of other professional and college sports teams. There are many sports that are hard on the athlete’s joints and the low-impact exercise provided by Whole Body Vibration is an ideal way to keep them in shape without putting unnecessary wear and tear on ankles, knees, hips, and other joints. The Super Bowl Champion New York Giants have a WBV platform in their training center for conditioning and recovery from injuries. Shaquille O’Neal worked with WBV equipment to speed up his post-surgery recovery progress during the 2002-2003 NBA seasons and subsequently he has inspired many of his colleagues and other athletes to add it to their training regimen.
Many professionals working in sports rehabilitation aren’t wasting any time establishing a major role for Whole Body Vibration training in injury treatment and rehabilitation. Work has already begun investigating the effect on bone health and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) rehabilitation strategies within the sports community. Eight professional athletes with ACL ruptures took part in a recent study, during which the proprioceptive capacity of each leg was monitored before and after the participants used a WBV oscillating platform. The athletes were asked to stand on each leg for 45 seconds while EMG activity was recorded. All the athletes showed improved balance control compared to pre-test measures with the most significant improvements occurring in both anterior-posterior directions, and it was positively concluded that Whole Body Vibration training could be used to great advantage in optimizing recovery from an ACL injury.
Elevated levels of human growth hormone (HGH) have been recorded with use of vibration therapy. These elevated levels are known to help the body heal and repair after injury or surgery. While WBV therapy helps in treating athletic injuries, it also provides a sports massage effect, due to the hormone secretion ratio that is involved with the correlation between growth and recovery.
Spending only 30 seconds on a WBV machine can clear lactate and lactic acid from the exerciser’s muscles, speeding up recovery and therefore allowing for maximum efficiency with regard to healing.
So, who can benefit? Almost everyone! Golfers, baseball players, football players, gymnasts, weight lifters, yoga and martial arts practitioners, runners, moms, dads, and grandparents just to name a few. Even people with back injuries, osteoporosis, or stroke patients in rehab may greatly benefit. Whole Body Vibration Training helps in the rehabilitation process, but just as importantly it can prevent injuries. Many professional sports teams, physical therapists, and even chiropractors have found WBV to be an invaluable tool in rehabilitation and recovery, strengthening muscles without the usual strain on joints and ligaments normally resulting from conventional training.
A cautionary note: While whole body vibration is ideal for helping speed up most recovery and healing processes, it is not recommended for those with recent wounds from an operation or surgical intervention as the motion may loosen stitches. It is also not recommended for those whose bodies are fitted with metal pins, coils, bolts, or plates. Pregnant women as well as those with Epilepsy, synthetic/artificial joints, tumors, and pacemakers should avoid the body vibration as a form of exercise. If you are unsure as to whether or not WBV exercise is safe for you, check with a trusted medical professional before beginning use of any type of Whole Body Vibration equipment.