Over the past century, doctors have come up with a variety of protocols for some of the milder forms of scoliosis as well as a number of stabilization therapies to prevent some of the catastrophic outcomes of severe scoliosis. Quite a few doctors around the country have already created specialized protocols incorporating several combinations of Whole Body Vibration, traction and rehabilitation exercises for the treatment of scoliosis. Most doctors today agree that sensible Scoliosis treatment protocols are clearly geared towards mobilization, correction and stabilization of the condition.
The basic purpose of incorporating WBV into a scoliosis treatment regime is as follows:
a) Improve the pliability in affected areas where there is too much rigidity, and
b) Repositioning of the osseous structures via positioning on the WBV plate.
c) Then improving the strength and power in the tissues which may be lacking strength.
d) Thus stabilizing the structures involved, and
e) Finally, improving the patient’s proprioceptive abilities.
Whole Body Vibration exercises can help by limbering and loosening contracted and stiff tissues. The vibration stimulates the “Golgi tendon apparatus” in muscles that have become tight and constricted. This activates a stretch and release reflex similar to the mechanisms used in the PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretching, resulting in a high measure of muscular relaxation. Ten minutes a day on Whole Body Vibration equipment helps to relax and strengthen these affected tissues.
Whole Body Vibration exercisers also stimulate innate muscle spindle activation by rapidly but gently increasing the load on the tissue. This rapid continual firing is known as the “Tonic Vibratory Reflex”. It is regulated via spinal reflex arc not unlike the Knee Jerk Reflex. Years of research of WBV have shown marked improvements in static, dynamic and explosive strength and power, greatly facilitating the other rehabilitation techniques in correcting the problems associated with scoliosis.
Ultimately, the body responds to Whole Body Vibration exercises by activating the involuntary postural muscles and increasing the proprioceptive (balance) input into the spinal cord, the cerebellum, and the brain. Thus performing range of movement (ROM) and spinal neuromuscular re-education exercises while on a vibration plate machine serves the function of increasing spinal stabilization through improving postural and spatial awareness. It is of considerable importance to note that the effects of WBV are equally perceived by the skin, joints and other secondary supporting systems, resulting in rapid improvements in flexibility, joint stabilization, sensory motor feedback and increased bodily awareness.
WBV fits perfectly into the category of adjunctive therapy that amplifies what our body inherently wants to accomplish; moving freely through a 3 dimensional room without pain or restrictions!
Whole Body Vibration Therapy has been shown to be highly effective in working with the Scoliotic patient. It has also been shown through research to increase the effectiveness of other forms of exercise and therapy by 2-3 times. In many circumstances patients may expect at least some degree of correction, but most will experience symptomatic relief and functional improvement leading to alleviation of their pain and greater freedom in their daily activities.