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Whole-body vibration exercise improves blood flow

Researchers from various research institutions in Brazil and Spain found that whole-body vibration exercise (WBVE) can significantly improve blood flow. This finding, published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, was based on their review of papers available through bibliographical databases.

  • Control over skin blood flow tends to decrease as a result of aging and clinical disorders like diabetes and rheumatologic diseases.
  • Physical activity can improve blood flow by enhancing vascular endothelial function with the help of nitric oxide, signaling ATP, and improving sympathetic reflexes. Since not everyone can perform physical exercise, alternative procedures like WBVE are necessary.
  • WBVE is done by producing mechanical vibrations in oscillating/vibratory platforms and transmitting them to a person who is in contact with the platform.
  • In this study, the researchers determined the level of evidence of papers on PubMed and PEDRo that focused on the effects of WBVE on blood flow. The levels of evidence, which were adapted from the National Health and Medical Research Councils, are as follows:
    • Level I — Systematic review of level II studies.
    • Level II — Randomized controlled trial.
    • Level III-1 — Pseudo-randomized controlled trial.
    • Level III-2 — Comparative study with concurrent controls.
    • Level III-3 — Comparative study without concurrent controls.
    • Level IV — Case series with post-test or pre-test/post-test outcomes.
  • The results showed that six studies classified as level II, one as LE III-2, and one as III-3 indicated that WBVE can improve blood flow. However, these studies differed in terms of the protocols and the assessment device used.

From these results, the researchers concluded that WBVE can be used as a therapeutic strategy to improve blood flow, but more studies are needed to clearly define suitable protocols.

The full text of the study is available at this link.

For more news articles on the benefits of whole body vibration exercise, visit

Journal Reference:

Sa-Caputo D, Paineiras-Domingos L, Carvalho-Lima R, Dias-Costa G, Patricia De Castro De Paiva, Azeredo CFD, Carmo RCR, Dionello CF, Moreira-Marconi E, Frederico EHF, et al. POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF WHOLE-BODY VIBRATION EXERCISES ON BLOOD FLOW KINETICS OF DIFFERENT POPULATIONS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW WITH A SUITABLE APPROACH. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. 2017;14(4S). DOI: 10.21010/ajtcam.v14i4s.6

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