Does anyone have any experience of using a vibrating plate to help prevent osteoporosis?

Fairly recent to PMR - I posted a couple of weeks ago to say Rheumy was doubtful because I'm "atypical", but tests seem to have ruled out virtually everything else. Following helpful advice on this forum my GP has agreed to treat it as PMR and started on 15mg Pred.

GP is also keen for me to start taking anti-osteoporosis medication straightaway, but I am resisting due to potential side effects, and have ordered a DEXA bone density scan (due on 1 June) which I'm hoping will show I don't need it.

In the meantime, I am taking all sensible steps to protect my bones - supplementing with Vit D / calcium / Vit K2; walking for an hour a day and doing weight-bearing exercise with resistance bands etc. Have also cut out tea / coffee / alcohol, as I've read that these can have a detrimental effect on bone health too.

My question is, has anybody tried using a vibrating plate to improve their bone density? I have read that they are now using these to help astronauts in space, who suffer from rapid bone loss. I've seen some articles which say they've been shown to help, both disabled/frail people who are unable to do weight-bearing exercise, and also healthy people and even athletes.

However, there is also some suggestion that too much vibration can have a negative effect, and definitely not to be used if you have any fractures, pacemakers, etc.

Just wondered if anyone had any direct experience before I decide whether to splash out?

43 Replies

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  • I am sure that some time ago there was a discussion about this in the Bone Health community - why not post your question there, you may get some responses.

  • Thanks Heron, I've done a search on the whole HealthUnlocked website and come up with a few posts from people finding vibrating plates helpful for things like fibromyalgia, etc. I'll try searching again under Bone Health...

    Thanks for the tip.

  • There are 2 different sorts - basically one vibrates in one way and the other in a different way. One is better than the other but I can't remember which is which. The one with the brand Powerplate is the sort that is better - and of course is more expensive. I have used one - no idea what it might have done as it was at the gym I belonged to and wasn't for long. I liked it and given the opportunity would use it again. The medical studies are reliable.

  • Thanks PMRpro - interesting to know that you've used one and that you liked it. From my research, I think the two different types that you refer to are "oscillating", which moves in different planes, versus those that just move "straight" up and down. The oscillating type seems to be the better option. There seem to be quite a lot of compact machines on the market now (ie just the footplate, without the tall frame), which don't take up too much space and aren't as expensive.

    I'm tempted to give it a go, as I feel it may help with circulation / muscle stiffness, as well as the possible osteoporosis benefits.

    Thanks again, Kathryn

  • Yes - that sounds right. I knew it all 3 or 4 years ago! I don't think I'd buy one without trying it out first though - some people don't like them - like gym membership it's a lot of money not to use it!

  • Yes, that's a good point. I'll see if I can find a local gym that has one.

  • I used one in a Bannatynes - and they usually have the same everywhere. It was a few years ago though.

  • There's a Bannatynes near me, so will check that out, thanks.

  • Hello PMRpro

    I just replied to a question you made comment on regarding treatment devices and osteoporosis. I'm thinking you should be alerted if someone responds to a thread you have commented on, however I'm new to HealthUnlocked and thought I would re-post it here for your information, just in case. If you have any questions please feel free to email me on msmith@livmd.co.uk,

    Best Wishes,

    Michael.

    I've just seen your question about vibration plates and bone health and I'd like to provide you with the answers you are after.

    My name is Michael Smith and I was the Clinical and Regulatory officer for Power Plate, the largest fitness vibration company in the world for many years. I've since left them and am now the director of LivMD UK LTD which produces the medically focused "Marodyne" vibration platform. The only Low Intensity Vibration (LIV) in the world that is medically approved to treat low bone mineral density and osteoporosis, with no contra-indications.

    A little bit on some questions you had:

    ** Astronauts - In a weightless environment astronauts experience around 15% - 20% loss of bone mass or bone mineral density a year, equivalent to 10 times that in a case of pronounced, untreated osteoporosis on earth. To put this in context, women affected by osteoporosis who remain untreated, can lose about 1.5% of their bone mass in the lumbar spinal region, in the hips or femoral neck within one year. An astronaut, by comparison, could lose this amount in a single month. Nasa was the primary contributor to Professor Clint Rubin’s (the world’s foremost expert on LIV and bone) research on LIV and helped developed the finished Marodyne device.

    ** Whole Body Vibration (WBV), Power Plates etc – WBV is primarily associated with fitness equipment (Power Plates etc) that you find in your gym, such as Bannatynes or Virgin Active. WBV main focus is activating and building muscle, something they do very well. However due to the very strong/aggressive nature of their vibration they are suited for people that are already in a reasonable state of health and fitness. They have a rather long list of contra-indications, the most relevant to you is that osteoporosis is a contra-indication of WBV.

    ** Low Intensity Vibration (LIV), Marodyne – LIV is targeted at bone health and bone growth. It’s focus is on stimulation of the Stem cells responsible for producing bone and re-activating them at the same time also increasing the activity of osteoblasts (bone building cells) and reducing the function of osteoclasts (bone removing cells). It does this with absolutely no contra-indications and is the only LIV device in the world medically approved to treat osteoporosis.

    We launched Marodyne at the National Osteoporosis Conference last year to the medical market and are currently finalising our media launch to the consumer market later this month.

    I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have, provide you with literature and give you a call for a chat. Please feel free to email me at

    msmith@livmd.co.uk

    Our primary website will be launched in 2 weeks, however our interim site is:

    livdmd.co.uk

    If anyone else on this thread also has questions please feel free to email me.

    Best Regards,

    MICHAEL SMITH

    MANAGING DIRECTOR

    LivMD UK & Éire

    Email: msmith@livmd.co.uk

    Website: livmd.co.uk

  • Most of us on the forum don't have osteoporosis - the problem all of us face though is that we are handed alendronic acid as a matter of course when put onto prednisolone to PREVENT loss of bone density.

    But thank you very much for this info - you wouldn't like to trial a few with us would you? ;-)

  • Hi PMRpro,

    I'm very sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I had two weeks leave which was most needed prior to our big launch.

    I understand most of you thankfully don't have osteoporosis at the moment, however as you are all well too aware when taking prednisolone you are firmly put on the road to low Bone mineral Density (BMD), osteopenia and osteoporosis, hence your doctors prescribing bisphosphonate's to try and prevent bone loss.

    We are the non-drug, zero-side effect alternative to this preserving and increasing your BMD by reactivating your bodies own bone production cells and re-building your skeletal system.

    Regarding trials, we have completed hundreds of these with fantastic results; now we are fully launching the device to the public so that everyone may maintain and increase their BMD without the use of drugs and the side-effects they contain.

    I strongly recommend yourself and any of your followers to contact me so we can discuss individual cases and your treatment.

    Best Wishes,

    Michael Smith

    msmith@livmd.co.uk

    marodyne.com (our newly launched website)

  • As far as I am concerned, I am on no bisphosphonates nor would I take one and my bone density has remained stable over a period of 7 years.

    However - judging by the information I could find about your product it sounds out of my price bracket!

  • Hi PMRpro,

    I'm very pleased to hear your bone density has remained stable, something that not many people can claim on this medication. Are you taking DXA's every year or two to access this?

    Regarding price, as with everything what might be inexpensive for one is expensive for another. We have tried very hard to keep our pricing as affordable as possible to ensure the greatest number of people can benefit from the technology. For the price a lot of people spend on a new sofa or an annual holiday they can prevent or cure osteoporosis and have an enormous increase in their Quality of Life. Also we've had quite a lot of people that live in close proximity to each other pooling together to get a unit and sharing it which has made it incredibly cost effective for them.

    If you yourself are OK on the BMD front we would very much appreciate if you could let any of your fellow suffers know of us and the new drug free alternative. As with any new technology, making people aware that they have a choice is one of the hardest things.

    Best of luck on journey,

    Michael

  • There are some contraindications for use of a vibration plate. Best make sure you don't have any of them before spending your money. I found this:

    vibrationplatereviews.com/a...

  • Thanks Heron, that's a very useful article. I haven't got any of those contra-indications, but I'll see if I can try one out to see whether I like it.

  • I love the research you put into all subjects. Thanks

  • Sandy, I used to work in a library and I feel a lot of satisfaction when I can find answers! Along with the companionship of the workplace this is one of the things I miss most since I retired.

  • I understand satisfaction from the work place. Interaction stimulates the brain. Isolation is not good. I should have known you were a librarian because of your knowledge and research on all topics!

    My brain feels challenged because of neck pain. Good news is vision problem has been addressed with prisms on glasses. It’s OK to drive during the day. Had an MRI yesterday and it felt like cerebral construction!

    Going to visit my 94 yr old mom who is becoming forgetful then going to Boston to visit my sister in Boston. Having increased pain. Will rest at each stop. May have to increase Pred. not sure how much. Your thoughts, please.

  • You'll get better advice about pred increase, or not, from the real experts on this site. I'm the sort of person who would balk at taking an increase unless absolutely necessary. Which it was a few weeks ago, but my increased dose is still only 4 mg, so I'm not able to advise about increases at higher levels. After all, I never needed more than 15 from the very beginning and the results were so spectacular that I might even have been okay with a smaller initial dose. (And, yes, I had all the classic symptoms and was heading to crippledom, undiagnosed for over a year, so didn't start out from a better place than most.)

    Glad you've got your vision issues sorted out and can drive again. That should help relieve some of the pressure you've been under as you have to travel back and forth a fair bit. :)

  • Actually, why not post your question as a new post, unless you already have. Not many will see this little exchange.

  • Hi,

    How's the household GCSE nightmare going?

    I too said no to bone meds at least until DEXA scan done which I had to ask for. I don't understand why it is better to put people on medication with potential bad side effects without seeing if it is necessary. The results yesterday said I am osteopaenic (I'm low in VitD and no ovaries since age 42) but I can still just do supplements according to an online formula they use, so he was prepared to go with that and a DEXA in two years. So now I'm on 12w of 800iu VitD3 three times a day, then calcium and vitD after that.

  • How low was your vit D? That supplement is still pretty low if it is supposed to raise a low level - it is about what our local osteoporosis guru recommends everyone to take! And that is northern Italy where normally we get a LOT of sun...

  • Don't know, I'm ashamed to say. I asked for a printout of the results then my Pred brain forgot at the end of the consult to ask him again. I did tell the Rheum Reg on Tuesday the dose I was taking and he was happy, but I am wondering if that was right. I forgot previously when I saw the GP because we were covering so much. When the result came through in Feb, I was just called and told there was a prescription waiting and I meant to ask the GP when I saw her a week ago. I'll call the surgery later.

  • It was 10.4 nmol/l

  • EEEEK! Low!!! It should be above 45. That is the minimum.

    This

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

    says

    "Vitamin D deficiency is more common than previously thought. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the percentage of adults achieving vitamin D sufficiency as defined by 25(OH)D of at least 30 ng/mL (to convert to nmol/L, multiply by 2.496) has declined from about 60% in 1988-1994 to approximately 30% in 2001-2004 in whites and from about 10% to approximately 5% in African Americans during this same time. Furthermore, more people have been found to be severely deficient in vitamin D [25(OH)D <10 ng/mL].6 Even when using a conservative definition of vitamin D deficiency, many patients routinely encountered in clinical practice will be deficient in vitamin D, as shown in Table 1."

    A more usual approach to deficiency would be 60,000 IU per week over 8 weeks and retest. The 60,000 IU can be taken as a single dose or a 3x 20,000IU. You are on the dizzy heights of 17,000 IU/week. David was given 25,000 IU/week for 4 months and that just got his vit D up to that level.

  • Oh, I'd better pop a few more then! Then I'll have a word with the GP. Hadn't realised it was so low. Thanks for that.

  • GCSEs just got a bit worse, as he has damaged the ligaments in his right thumb and finding it quite painful to write! AAARGH. Just waiting for school to phone me back to see what can be done. How about you, is all going smoothly?

    It's good to know that you're thinking the same way about avoiding biphosphonates. With regard to the Vit D, mine was found to be low in a previous blood test (30 nmol/L, should be over 50 - many practitioners are now advising it should be over 75 to protect the bones, and even higher (125) to protect agains cancer etc). My GP gave me very high dose (20,000 iu 3 times a week - ie 60,000 iu per week) for 6-weeks to give it a boost. Am now taking 3,000 iu as a maintenance dose.

  • Getting a bit ugly with exam stress. My year 11 is now being very evasive about exactly what she still needs to cover revision wise. To cut a long story short, we have no idea whether she has it covered or that her Tourette's and OCD has been making her read the same things over and over so she isn't covering enough quickly enough. Or something in between. Anything is possible but she won't say which. With her it could all be ok but she likes to not tell us.

    Re thumb- Will they allow a keyboard under supervision? What do they do for other kids who can't use their hands?

  • Scribes and extra time...

  • Hello Katy-w53,

    I have been considering buying a rebounder for similar reasons - since being diagnosed with GCA in November 2016 I've reduced from 40mg pre to currently 9/8mg, but my dexascan showed that I was osteopoenic. I am taking VitA/ calcium and K2 but refusing bisphosphonates (much to my GP's disapproval) but need to do something other than the twice weekly Pilates I currently do to increase bone density. Apparently astronauts have used rebounders too after returning to earth. Had you considered a rebounder, and has anyone else on this forum used one with success? My brother has used one every day for a very long time, and swears by it for getting fit without damaging joints.

    Well done you for forgoing alcohol. I don't think I could get through this journey without a glass I'd red wine at the end of the day!

    Good luck!

  • "VitA/ calcium" - vit D and calcium I hope?????

    I walk - and it has kept my bone density stable.

  • Oops, yes! Beastly pred brain fog!

    I do walk too,but feel the need for something a bit more aerobic. Having said that, today just a little light gardening is wearing me out. Sigh!

  • If you haven't got any yet, please seriously consider adding Vitamin K2 (not K1) to your supplements. This vitamin, along with magnesium, guides calcium into the bones where it belongs. Vitamin D can't do that, and this is why people on high doses of calcium and D sometimes suffer from side effects like calcium deposits where you don't want them.

  • Thank you HeronNS - I've been taking K2 for the last 6 weeks or so as a result of your recommendation -just wish it wasn't so expensive - does anyone in the UK know a cheaper source than Holland a Barrett?

  • The last time I went to the store where I buy the supplements not available in the pharmacy (none of our otc meds or vitamins etc are covered by any plans) I just about fell through the floor at the total. I was sure that i'd been charged twice for something. But no. On the other hand that was a couple of months ago and I still have plenty of supplies!

    A cheaper source of Vitamin K2 would be natto, the fermented soy they get the vitamin from for the supplements. If you can find it, and if you can manage to eat it. I've heard it is an acquired taste. ;)

  • Rebounder sounds interesting - I'll check that out too.

    Yes, the alcohol was difficult at first - I've always liked a glass with my meal in the evening. But actually, I do feel better (less brain fog) since cutting it out, and also cutting down on sugar / carbs generally. It's easier to keep it up if you can feel the benefits!

  • Hello LizzieGuinn,

    I just replied to a question you made comment on regarding treatment devices and osteoporosis. I'm thinking you should be alerted if someone responds to a thread you have commented on, however I'm new to HealthUnlocked and thought I would re-post it here for your information, just in case. If you have any questions please feel free to email me on msmith@livmd.co.uk,

    Best Wishes,

    Michael.

    I've just seen your question about vibration plates and bone health and I'd like to provide you with the answers you are after.

    My name is Michael Smith and I was the Clinical and Regulatory officer for Power Plate, the largest fitness vibration company in the world for many years. I've since left them and am now the director of LivMD UK LTD which produces the medically focused "Marodyne" vibration platform. The only Low Intensity Vibration (LIV) in the world that is medically approved to treat low bone mineral density and osteoporosis, with no contra-indications.

    A little bit on some questions you had:

    ** Astronauts - In a weightless environment astronauts experience around 15% - 20% loss of bone mass or bone mineral density a year, equivalent to 10 times that in a case of pronounced, untreated osteoporosis on earth. To put this in context, women affected by osteoporosis who remain untreated, can lose about 1.5% of their bone mass in the lumbar spinal region, in the hips or femoral neck within one year. An astronaut, by comparison, could lose this amount in a single month. Nasa was the primary contributor to Professor Clint Rubin’s (the world’s foremost expert on LIV and bone) research on LIV and helped developed the finished Marodyne device.

    ** Whole Body Vibration (WBV), Power Plates etc – WBV is primarily associated with fitness equipment (Power Plates etc) that you find in your gym, such as Bannatynes or Virgin Active. WBV main focus is activating and building muscle, something they do very well. However due to the very strong/aggressive nature of their vibration they are suited for people that are already in a reasonable state of health and fitness. They have a rather long list of contra-indications, the most relevant to you is that osteoporosis is a contra-indication of WBV.

    ** Low Intensity Vibration (LIV), Marodyne – LIV is targeted at bone health and bone growth. It’s focus is on stimulation of the Stem cells responsible for producing bone and re-activating them at the same time also increasing the activity of osteoblasts (bone building cells) and reducing the function of osteoclasts (bone removing cells). It does this with absolutely no contra-indications and is the only LIV device in the world medically approved to treat osteoporosis.

    We launched Marodyne at the National Osteoporosis Conference last year to the medical market and are currently finalising our media launch to the consumer market later this month.

    I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have, provide you with literature and give you a call for a chat. Please feel free to email me at

    msmith@livmd.co.uk

    Our primary website will be launched in 2 weeks, however our interim site is:

    livdmd.co.uk

    If anyone else on this thread also has questions please feel free to email me.

    Best Regards,

    MICHAEL SMITH

    MANAGING DIRECTOR

    LivMD UK & Éire

    email:msmith@livmd.co.uk

    livmd.co.uk

  • I (male 69) got diagnosed four months ago. Bilateral aching in legs and shoulders, night sweats etc. Started off on 15mg pred. Now about to taper down to 9.5mg. I got a DEXA scan which showed no bone problems. My GP did offer Vitamin D supplementation as an option which I declined. I decided to rely on diet and sunshine instead. The gym I attend 4/6 x a week has a couple of power plate machines which I make use of. I generally do 3 or 4 minutes every time I go. I heard that astronauts got their normal bone density back after prolonged weightlessness by using these. I also belong to a walking group and grow veg on an allotment. I know that there could be problems ahead with pain and fatigue when reducing pred below a threshold. Meanwhile keeping active. I follow the posts on this site regularly and find the advice very sensible.

  • It is calcium that you need to fight the side effects of the steroids. The vit D helps the absorption of the calcium. I read that astronauts have been given bisphophonates and also vit D and calcium as exercise is not enough.

  • I am eating spinach, cabbage, broccoli, Brazil nuts, cheese, sardines, eggs as recommended in the book. Will consider calcium and vit D in October if still above 7.5 mg pred.

  • Thanks for that info - can I ask what is the book that you mentioned?

  • Living with PMR and GCA by Kate Gilbert.

  • Hello katie-w53,

    I've just seen your question about vibration plates and bone health and I'd like to provide you with the answers you are after.

    My name is Michael Smith and I was the Clinical and Regulatory officer for Power Plate, the largest fitness vibration company in the world for many years. I've since left them and am now the director of LivMD UK LTD which produces the medically focused "Marodyne" vibration platform. The only Low Intensity Vibration (LIV) in the world that is medically approved to treat low bone mineral density and osteoporosis, with no contra-indications.

    A little bit on some questions you had:

    ** Astronauts - In a weightless environment astronauts experience around 15% - 20% loss of bone mass or bone mineral density a year, equivalent to 10 times that in a case of pronounced, untreated osteoporosis on earth. To put this in context, women affected by osteoporosis who remain untreated, can lose about 1.5% of their bone mass in the lumbar spinal region, in the hips or femoral neck within one year. An astronaut, by comparison, could lose this amount in a single month. Nasa was the primary contributor to Professor Clint Rubin’s (the world’s foremost expert on LIV and bone) research on LIV and helped developed the finished Marodyne device.

    ** Whole Body Vibration (WBV), Power Plates etc – WBV is primarily associated with fitness equipment (Power Plates etc) that you find in your gym, such as Bannatynes or Virgin Active. WBV main focus is activating and building muscle, something they do very well. However due to the very strong/aggressive nature of their vibration they are suited for people that are already in a reasonable state of health and fitness. They have a rather long list of contra-indications, the most relevant to you is that osteoporosis is a contra-indication of WBV.

    ** Low Intensity Vibration (LIV), Marodyne – LIV is targeted at bone health and bone growth. It’s focus is on stimulation of the Stem cells responsible for producing bone and re-activating them at the same time also increasing the activity of osteoblasts (bone building cells) and reducing the function of osteoclasts (bone removing cells). It does this with absolutely no contra-indications and is the only LIV device in the world medically approved to treat osteoporosis.

    We launched Marodyne at the National Osteoporosis Conference last year to the medical market and are currently finalising our media launch to the consumer market later this month.

    I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have, provide you with literature and give you a call for a chat. Please feel free to email me at

    msmith@livmd.co.uk

    Our primary website will be launched in 2 weeks, however our interim site is:

    livdmd.co.uk

    If anyone else on this thread also has questions please feel free to email me.

    Best Regards,

    MICHAEL SMITH

    MANAGING DIRECTOR

    LivMD UK & Éire

    email: msmith@livmd.co.uk

    website: livmd.co.uk

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