Vibration Therapy | A New Way to Reduce Muscle Soreness and Increase ROM
- Written by Staff Therapist
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Recent studies have shown evidence vibration therapy is just as effective as massage in reducing muscle soreness after exercise and can also help increase range of motion.
Over the past few years, we’ve been using more vibration and percussive therapy products at the clinic, such as the Hypervolt gun, vibrating foam rollers, and vibrating massage balls. But what’s all the hype about?
Effect on Muscle Soreness
In a 2014 study by Imtiyaz et al., they found that a 5 minute session with a vibration device provided as much relief to muscle soreness as a 15 minute massage session over the same area, as compared to control groups who received neither after a bout of exercise.
Vibration provides stimulation to muscle spindles, which may reduce issues such as muscle and connective tissue dysfunction. Vibration may also reduce the perception of pain through the mechanism of pain gait theory, which is also the mechanism of action in interventions such as TENS.
Range of Motion
In a 2020 study by Konrad et al. a 5 minute massage with a handheld percussive massage gun on the calves was found to increase the range of motion in the plantar flexor muscles. The researchers also found that the increase in ROM was not coupled with a change in maximum voluntary contraction torque, meaning that the patients saw an increase in the range of motion without a decrease in the output strength of their muscles. This suggests that percussive massage treatment can be used during a warm-up routine to increase flexibility, without losing muscle performance.
According to a review by Weerapong et al. (2005), increases in ROM following a conventional massage may be attributed to the biomechanical changes that are being made on the muscle fibers, an increase in blood flow, a reduction in perception of pain, and also psychological changes such as increased relaxation.
Get Your Percussive and Vibration Massage Tools at the Clinic
We sell the entire Hypervolt line of massage guns, vibrating foam rollers, and vibrating massage balls at the clinic. Ask your therapist to give one of these products a try during your next session or give us a call to purchase! We often incorporate these devices with other stretching or relaxation modalities when appropriate in your treatment sessions. You an also schedule an instructional telehealth appointment (or visit us in office) if you want to learn how to use your device to acheive your optimal outcomes.
Imtiyaz, S., Veqar, Z., & Shareef, M. Y. (2014). To Compare the Effect of Vibration Therapy and Massage in Prevention of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). JOURNAL OF CLINICAL AND DIAGNOSTIC RESEARCH. doi:10.7860/jcdr/2014/7294.3971
Broadbent S, Rousseau JJ, Thorp RM, Choate SL, Jackson FS and Rowlands DS. Vibration therapy reduces plasma IL6 and muscle soreness after downhill running. British journal of sports medicine. 2010; 44(12), 888-94.
Konrad A, Glashüttner C, Reiner MM, Bernsteiner D, Tilp M. The Acute Effects of a Percussive Massage Treatment with a Hypervolt Device on Plantar Flexor Muscles' Range of Motion and Performance. J Sports Sci Med. 2020;19(4):690-694. Published 2020 Nov 19.