Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that is characterized by general muscle pain and soreness. Fatigue, joint problems, and sleep disturbances are symptoms of fibromyalgia. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown but stress and genetic predisposition seem to play a role. People with chronic muscle soreness, pain, and fatigue have trouble with exercise. It is estimated that there are six million people in the United States who suffer from fibromyalgia. There is no known cure for fibromyalgia but exercise and stress reduction along with medication can help relieve the symptoms.
People with fibromyalgia who use whole body vibration training can actually see decreases in muscle pain and fatigue. In a study on whole body vibration on people with fibromyalgia the experimental group who underwent vibration training had lower pain and fatigue scores when compared to the control group. They found that vibration exercise safely reduces pain whereas exercise alone did not. Because whole body vibration training is low impact training it is appealing as a method to decrease pain and soreness for people with fibromyalgia. Since people with chronic muscle pain tend to avoid exercise or anything that will exacerbate their pain they often experience muscle atrophy, or wasting away of the muscle. Vibration training stimulates the muscles and prevents atrophy in the safest possible way for people with this condition.
People with fibromyalgia experience a cycle of pain that is common with a lot of disorders that are associated with inactivity. People with fibromyalgia, because they are sore tend to have limited activity. There capacity to work decreases, their muscles become stiff due to inactivity and then pain continues. Going to the gym to lift weights seems intimidating and is setting the person up for further pain. The study on whole body vibration mentioned earlier compared cardio and whole body vibration to strictly cardio which showed no effects on pain reduction. This shows aerobic exercise alone will not help reduce pain. Vibration training is a more pain free and effective alternative when compared to weight training and aerobic training. Vibration training will help decrease pain associated with fibromyalgia and stop and possibly reverse the muscle loss associated with inactivity.