COPD (chronic lung disease) can have a very significant impact on quality of life by making it hard to get around. This leads to a decreased ability to exercise. And that leads to even more weakness. Wouldn't it be great if there was a way for someone with COPD, even advanced COPD, to get all the benefits of exercise that everyone else can get? New research is showing that there is a way. And the best part is that the exercise is safe and unbelievably easy.
The conventional way that doctors help patients with COPD is with what is called a pulmonary rehabilitation program. This program involves working with specialized trainers on stretching exercises followed by strength training and endurance activities, such as walking on a treadmill or using a stationary cycle. Well targeted pulmonary rehabilitation programs result in reduced respiratory symptoms, a decrease in the frequency of infections and hospitalizations, and increased overall quality of life for patients with COPD. But here's the problem. Some patients are unable to tolerate the exercises in the programs. So, knowing this, researchers set out to find out if whole-body vibration exercise was a more tolerable alternative.
To do the study, they enlisted the help of 20 men and women with moderate to severe COPD. They evaluated the patients using the St. George Respiratory Questionnaire. Among other things, this questionnaire scores patients on their level of respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. They also measured the patients with the six minute walking test. This tests how far they can walk in six minutes, and is a great way to evaluate overall lung function. Then they divided the patients into two groups.
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One group participated in a pulmonary rehabilitation program. They exercised three times a week for about 45 minutes. The other group used whole body vibrational exercise three times a week for about half the time (20 minutes). The researchers used a Power Plate My3 for the study. The Power Plate has always been the state of the art in whole body vibration exercise. The study went on for three months. At the end of the study, the researchers measured the patients a second time with the St. George Respiratory Questionnaire and the six-minute walking test. The results showed that sometimes less works better than more.
The patients who exercised with the Power Plate were the only ones showing a decrease in respiratory symptoms. And in the six-minute walking test, they were the only group showing any improvement at all. This is not the only study showing the superiority of Power Plate exercise to the pulmonary rehabilitation program in patients with COPD. The best part was that the researchers found that all the patients — even those with severe COPD — were able to complete the full Power Plate program.
There have been quite a few manufacturers out there lately jumping on the bandwagon and coming up with different and often cheaper versions of the Power Plate. But none of them has the proven Power Plate technology, which has been shown to be effective in this and so many other studies. And some of these versions are close to useless. So, if you decide to purchase a whole body vibrational device other than a Power Plate, before you buy make sure you ask the manufacturer for some studies published in peer reviewed journals demonstrating that their particular device is effective. Like so many other studies, both studies referenced below were conducted using Power Plate technology.
To order a Power Plate or get more information, please call 888-303-4707. Make sure you give them offer code SVHA-0617 to get over $500 off.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
da Silva MC, Sayão LB, et al. Pulmonary rehabilitation and whole-body vibration in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Motriz, Rio Claro, v.22 n.2, p. 44-50, Apr./June 2016
Braz Júnior DS, Dornelas de Andrade A. Whole-body vibration improves functional capacity and quality of life in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a pilot study. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2015 Jan 12;10:125-32.