Good vibes for bones

Vibration good for older women's bones


Medical Research
THE VIBE OF THE THING: Professor Belinda Beck from Griffith's Menzies Health Institute with VIBMOR trial participant Velma Harding. The study is looking at how vibration and exercise can prevent osteoporosis fracture.

THE VIBE OF THE THING: Professor Belinda Beck from Griffith's Menzies Health Institute with VIBMOR trial participant Velma Harding. The study is looking at how vibration and exercise can prevent osteoporosis fracture.

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Post-menopausal women are being recruited for a large-scale medical study to help determine the best exercise mix to fight ageing weak bones.

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POST-MENOPAUSAL women are being recruited for a large-scale medical study to help determine the best exercise mix to fight ageing weak bones.

Pilot data has shown whole body vibration and certain exercises improve bone mass, but it is unclear which strategy is most effective. 

Professor Belinda Beck from Griffith University’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland said a large-scale head-to-head comparison of vibration and other exercise forms could provide the answer to lowering the risk of osteoporotic fractures, which affect one in three women and one in five men aged over 50.

For women aged 45 and over, osteoporosis accounts for more days in hospital than breast cancer, heart attacks and other diseases.

“We know, from studies in animals, that vibration can improve bone,” Professor Beck said.

“We also know that targeted exercise can be effective, but the catch is, it must be of such high intensity it requires supervision.

“Mild whole-body vibration can be done unsupervised and so may be a more convenient therapy for people with osteoporosis.” 

The team is conducting the large scale trial called VIBMOR to see how vibration therapy compares to exercise in terms of an ability to lower the risk of osteoporisis fracture.

While medication is available for osteoporosis, Professor Beck said it was important to discover alternative therapies, such as effective exercise options.

The research is aiming to recruit around 430 women who are at least five years post menopause. They will be randomly allocated to either vibration, exercise, or a combination of both.

One group will be allocated to a twice-weekly home exercise program; one will be doing twice-weekly supervised exercise; one group will be allocated a vibration device and asked to stand on it five times a week for 10 minutes.

A fourth group will do a combination of twice-weekly supervised exercise and five times a week vibration therapy. Interested study participants need to be over 60 years old.

To register interest phone (07) 5552-9565 or email vibmor@griffith.edu.au

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