Whole-body vibration may reduce pain associated with fibromyalgia

Whole-body vibration exercise effectively reduced the severity of pain in patients with fibromyalgia, according to study findings.

“Our findings are promising, but it is not entirely clear whether these improvements were the result of added vibration or just the effects of being more active,” study author Anthony S. Kaleth, PhD, associate professor at the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, said in a press release from the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting.

Kaleth and colleagues enrolled 24 women with fibromyalgia and randomly assigned them to either 8 weeks of twice-weekly, lower-body, progressive-resistance exercise with whole-body vibration or an attention control group. Whole-body vibration involved patients standing, sitting or laying on a vibrating platform to induce alternating muscle contraction and relaxation.

The patients were assessed at baseline and at 8-week follow-up for fibromyalgia-related physical function, pain severity and muscle strength.

Patients who participated in whole-body vibration exercise had a significantly higher degree of improvement on Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire than controls; however, the change in Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire was no different between the groups, according to the researchers.

The researchers found a significant improvement in pain severity among patients in the whole-body vibration group compared with controls, but the magnitude of muscular strength improvement was not different between groups.

Reference: Kaleth AS. Paper #2011. Presented at: The American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting; May 27-31, 2014; Orlando, Fla.

Disclosure: Kaleth has no relevant financial disclosures.