Tags: vibration | bone density | aging bones | preventing osteoporosis | preventing bone loss in aging | improving bone density in aging

Vibration May Keep Aging Bones Healthy

Wednesday, 03 Nov 2010 07:54 AM


"Shake, rattle, and roll" was the theme of many seniors in their youth, and shaking their aging bones may help reduce the bone-thinning that usually occurs with age.

An animal study at the Medical College of Georgia found that daily vibrations improved bone density around the hip joint. Hip fractures are a major cause of death among the elderly.

Dr. Karl H. Wenger, biomedical engineer in the MCG Schools of Graduate Studies and Medicine, subjected 18-month-old mice (the human equivalent of 55- to 65-year-old humans) to daily 30-minute vibrating sessions for 12 weeks.

Wenger and his colleagues found that vibration improved density around the hip joint as well as improvement in the femur, the long bone of the leg. They also found a reduction in a biomarker that indicates the breakdown of bone.

The researchers theorize that the vibration produces a sensation similar to that of a vibrating cell phone but on a larger scale, exercises cells so they work better, and spurs the production of osteoblasts, the cells that create bone.

Vibration, Wenger said, also helps those with bone injuries, and is a low-risk option for injured patients with limited mobility. “We think that in fracture healing, you get a more dramatic response," he said in a statement. "We don’t know exactly why it affects the biology differently, but it’s likely because of the extent to which stem cells invade the injured area,” Wenger said. They have found that vibration slows stem cell proliferation, which may sound counterintuitive, but likely means more stem cells differentiate into bone cells rather than continuing to just make more generic stem cells. With age, stem cells have difficulty differentiating.

The researchers are evaluating human patients' tolerance to pain in patients with lower-limb fractures, and have found that as early as two weeks after the injury, the vibration is soothing instead of painful.

In a related study at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, postmenopausal women, who were at the peak of age-related bone loss, had results similar to the mice.

Although vibration doesn't provide the same cardiovascular benefit of exercise, both human and animal study show it can improve weight loss and muscle strength.




© HealthDay

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"Shake, rattle, and roll" was the theme of many seniors in their youth, and shaking their aging bones may help reduce the bone-thinning that usually occurs with age.
vibration,bone density,aging bones,preventing osteoporosis,preventing bone loss in aging,improving bone density in aging
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