Back pain (BP) is a very common condition among people of all ages. In fact, worldwide BP is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical attention and work absenteeism, costing millions of dollars to the healthcare system and the economy every year. The causes leading to back pain could be numerous, including physical injury, some sort of inappropriate activity, occupation or an accompanying chronic disease, such as obesity. With the advancement of age, people become more prone to developing lower BP as well as upper BP.
Furthermore, lower back pain could be related to the vertebrae discs, the spinal ligaments, spinal cord itself and the nerves around, whereas the upper back pain is usually caused by abnormalities of the aorta, inflammation in the spinal cord and even chest tumors. The pain could be either acute, starting suddenly and lasting usually for up to 4 – 6 weeks, or chronic, which normally develops over a long period of time and lasts for months or years.
What causes back pain?
The back of the human body comprises a complex mixture of bones, disks, muscles and tendons. They work in unison to aid movement and provide support for the whole body. As one can imagine, the more complex the structure is the bigger the chance of something going wrong at one stage or another. Taking into consideration the big number of components that form the back, the causes that lead to pain in that part of the body could be numerous.
The list is indeed long with some of the most common causes being injury; poor posture, such as twisting, stretching or prolonged sitting; some type of medical condition, such as spinal infection, cancer of the spine or shingles; strains due to falls or muscle spasms; inappropriate movement or lifting of a heavy load; structural impairments, such as osteoporosis, arthritis, sciatica or damaged disks; etc.
As for the risk factors of getting lower or upper back pain, scientists have discovered that smoking, sedentary lifestyle, pregnancy, occupancy, genes and older age increase the risk several fold. Also, it has been made evident that BP is more common in women than in the men part of the population, with the main reason being the differences on a hormonal level.
How to treat back pain?
It has been established that back pain affects about 80% of humans in one stage of their lives or another. In some cases, the pain could be relieved with a proper rest and the use of some remedies, but the majority of people who develop the condition need additional treatment such as medicinal massage, medications or physical therapy. For instance, some types of anti-inflammatory drugs, ultrasound or electrical stimulation, stretches, yoga, acupuncture or even cognitive behavioral therapy, have proved useful in the treatment of back pain.
But scientists would not stop there. With the advancement of medicine and the growing number of clinical studies in that direction, new and more effective methods have been developed that help people reduce or fully treat the uncomfortable condition. New and more efficient therapies are introduced every year which increase the chances of success and reduce the prevalence of the condition. One of the latest additions in that matter is a type of alternative therapy known as whole body vibration (WBV).
What is whole body vibration therapy?
Whole body vibration (WBV) therapy is a type of an alternative treatment that exposes the entire body to vibrations with a high frequency. For the past few decades, the therapy has been an object of numerous studies and the results have shown a significant amount of positive outcomes. The WBV method offers treatment for more or less every part of the body, including conditions related to muscle tissue, skeletal system, cardiovascular system and weight control. According to scientific studies, regular whole body vibration therapy leads to increased muscle mass, better muscle tone, improved circulation, healthier aging, stronger bones, quicker recovery, decreased weight and reduced back pain.
WBV therapy also finds applications within the medical rehabilitation environment and neuromuscular field. It offers quicker results and positive responses and can benefit people of all ages, including children and infants. The equipment that is used for performing the therapy is known as the body vibration machine.
What is the body vibration machine?
The body vibration machine (BVM) is a piece of fitness or rehabilitation equipment that consists of a vibrating plate and a stand. The plate produces high frequency vibrations that make the muscles contract with a much higher than usual rate of about 50 times a second. The vibrations also benefit the skeletal system, leading to stronger and denser bones, the cardiovascular system allowing for better circulation and healthier blood pressure and have proved useful in the treatment of numerous medical conditions. Another major benefit of the BVM is that the person using it does not need to perform any exercise or body movements. All they need to do is to stand, sit or lay down on the plate and allow for the vibrations to go through the body.
You can learn more about the body vibration machine and its health benefits from this site.
How does the body vibration machine aid back pain relief?
The high frequency vibrations of the body vibration machine aid back pain relief in several different ways. The regular use of the equipment strengthens the muscles in the lower back, reduces muscle tightness, aligns the posture and stimulates spinal motion. The results of several clinical studies show that the BVM relieves back pain through a unique analgesic effect, meaning that the machine helps the body respond to pain in a much better way similar to taking a painkiller.
Furthermore, according to several studies, whole body vibration therapy leads to an increased activation of the lumbar-abdominal muscles which is another contributor to back pain reduction. Some of the best exercises to achieve this effect include planks for strengthening the back muscles, crunches for improving the abdominal oblique externus muscles and single bridge for tightening rectus abdominis muscles.