Science & Research
Experiments were undertaken to determine the degree to which high-frequency (15-35 Hz)
ground-based, whole-body vibration are transmitted to the proximal femur and lumbar vertebrae of the standing human.
To establish if extremely low-level mechanical stimuli can be efficiently delivered to the axialskeleton of a human.
Summary of Background Data
Vibration is most often considered an etiologic factor in low back pain as well asseveral other musculoskeletal and neurovestibular complications, but recent in vivo experiments in animals indicates that extremely low-level mechanical signals deliv-
ered to bone in the frequency range of 15 to 60 Hz can bestrongly anabolic. If these mechanical signals can be effectively and noninvasively transmitted in the standing
human to reach those sites of the skeleton at greatest risk of osteoporosis, such as the hip and lumbar spine, then vibration could be used as a unique, nonpharmacologicintervention to prevent or reverse bone loss.Materials and Methods. Under sterile conditions and local anesthesia, transcutaneous pins were placed in the
spinous process of L4 and the greater trochanter of the femur of six volunteers. Each subject stood on an oscillating platform and data were collected from accelerom-
eters fixed to the pins while a vibration platform provided sinusoidal loading at discrete frequencies from 15 to 35 Hz, with accelerations ranging up to peak-peak.
With the subjects standing erect, transmissibility at the hip exceeded 100% for loading frequencies less than 20 Hz, indicating a resonance. However, at frequencies more than 25 Hz, transmissibility decreased to approximately 80% at the hip and spine. In relaxed
stance, transmissibility decreased to 60%. With 20-degree knee flexion,transmissibility was reduced even further to approximately 30%. A phase-lag reached as high as 70
degrees in the hip and spine signals.
These data indicate that extremely low level,high-frequency mechanical accelerations are readily transmitted into the lower appendicular and axial skeleton of the standing individual. Considering the anabolic potential of exceedingly low-level mechanical signals in this frequency range, this study represents a key step in the development of a biomechanically based treatment for osteoporosis. [Key words: spine, hip, osteoporosis, transmissibility, vibration, biomechanics, anabolic. Osteoporosis is one of the most common complications of aging. 1 After the age of 50,bone mineral density(BMD) decreases at a rate as high as 3% per year in the postmenopausal female.2- 4 Among women age 80 years and older, 70% have bone density measurements less than 2.5 standard deviations of young normal values.5
Nick Smith - BSc NASM CPT
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