If you or someone you know lives with Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, you are familiar with how both can affect activities of daily living and one’s ability to be mobile and active without pain. 

While the two diseases are very different, they both affect the nervous system. Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune disease where the insulating myelin sheaths of nerve cells in the brain and spinal chord are damaged. This can cause muscle weakness, loss of coordination and balance, and numbness.

People with MS struggle with stiffness and tightness. Every day activities can lead to pain, but exercise and activity are essential for combating muscle loss and weakness. Heat and long workouts make their symptoms worse. Therefore, to be able to complete a workout in under 20 minutes is essential for building muscle while minimizing painful MS symptoms from exercise.

Parkinson’s similarly affects the nervous system, with degeneration of the nerve cells over time. Common symptoms include tremors, muscle rigidity, imbalance, and the loss of quick muscle movement. 

Unfortunately, neither MS or Parkinsons have a cure. The focus for patients is on managing symptoms. Exercise can help with both conditions. While a variety of exercise modalities can be helpful, whole body vibration (Power Plate) provides some unique benefits over other forms of exercise. 

Unique Benefits of Power Plate

Enhanced neural-muscular activation

A multitude of studies have demonstrated how whole body vibration improves neuromuscular connections. While this is beneficial for everyone, it can be particularly helpful for people dealing with nervous system issues. We love this quick video from Alpha Chiropractic which explains how Power Plate creates a neural pathway by sending repeated signals in rapid succession, similar to how you can create a path through the grass by walking the same line over and over.

Decreased pain and numbness

The improvement in neuro-muscular connections can help reduce pain, which is sent through the nerves. In addition, whole body vibration can loosen tight tendons and ligaments which can relieve pain. Watch this short video from LivingFit Rx, a Power Plate studio that specializes in working with MS patients, to learn how Power Plate brings relief to their clients. Owner Debbie says “100% of my clients with MS have improved.”

Improved Balance and Posture

Exercising on an unstable platform forces your brain and body to work together to improve balance and control. This video from the Functional Aging Institute explains many of the benefits of Power Plate for balance.

Increased Strength & Muscle growth with low impact moves

Patients with MS and Parkinsons often understand the importance of exercise and maintaining muscle mass, but find traditional forms of exercise to be difficult and painful. Power Plate provides the benefit of muscle strengthening and growth without the negative impacts of other forms of exercise.

Decreased rigidity and spasticity 

A study looking at the benefits of whole body vibration for patients with parkinson’s disease found that just 5 minutes on a powerplate resulted in, “On average a highly significant (p < 0.01) improvement of 16.8% in the UPDRS motor score in the treatment group [and]  tremor and rigidity scores were improved by 25% and 24%, respectively.”

    A study out of Belgium found that in just 3 weeks, vibration plate workouts resulted in significant improvements in strength in MS patients.

    “During one of the few long-term studies on vibration plate training and MS, researchers found that…[s]tudy participants noted improvements in sleep, fewer muscle spasms during the night, better sensation in their feet, and could even climb stairs better!”

    Accesibility to all clients

    Whole Body Vibration provides a very high level of effectiveness with minimum ability. Clients can get enormous benefit from sitting with their feet on the plate. This allows clients to build strength, even when traditional forms of exercise and movement may be out of their reach in their present state.

    Improved Quality of Life

    A six-week program, called vibration training — in which people stand on a vibrating platform for short periods of time — eased disability and improved cognitive abilities and quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a small randomized study found.The study, “Effects of vibration training on cognition and quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis,” was published in the International Journal of MS Care.

    We have seen the benefits of Power Plate first hand in our studio. One of our clients has lived with MS for several years, and has received many benefits from working out on a power plate.

    Here are two great videos showing the amazing benefits of Power Plate for MS and Parkinson’s patients.

    References

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22084490/

    https://content.iospress.com/download/neurorehabilitation/nre00299?id=neurorehabilitation%2Fnre00299

    Lydia Dant 10:15 AM (0 minutes ago) to me