What is vibration therapy and how can it help your arthritis?

Vibration therapy can offer soothing relief from arthritis and other ailments.

Vibration therapy can offer soothing relief from arthritis and other ailments.

Millions of Americans live with arthritis, inflammation and other problems that affect the bones or joints. These can be painful and limit your ability to do your job or enjoy your favorite hobbies. There are medications and other treatments available, but these may come with side effects and/or might not be appropriate for more mild forms of arthritis and similar disorders.

Vibration therapy can, however, serve as an important tool for anyone living with inflammation or discomfort. Specifically designed gloves and wraps that cover the hands, joints or limbs are designed to gently vibrate and reduce pain and improve circulation. Scientists continue to learn more about how useful vibration therapy may be for treating arthritis. Here's what you need to know:

The power of vibration therapy
According to the National Institutes of Health, researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa found that individuals living with rheumatoid arthritis showed improvements in functionality and decreased pain when using vibration therapy over the course of three months. After following up with test subjects, the scientists found that anyone continuing with the treatment showed even greater betterment six months on. 

In total, there were improvements in regard to functional abilities, physical activity, body composition and overall "health related quality of life." The scientists concluded that vibration therapy can help individuals living with arthritis become more mobile and active and in turn improve health and functionality.

Vibration therapy may have other clinical applications as well. A team of scientists in China found that osteoporosis symptoms may also be aided by this treatment. Their research, published in the journal Disability and Rehabilitation, found that vibration therapy helped strengthen the bones of postmenopausal women living with osteoporosis. 

How vibrating gloves and wraps work
It's easy to utilize vibration therapy in your everyday life, and gloves and wraps can be worn discretely. In as little as five minutes, you can benefit from helpful relief from the comfort of home. Vibrating gloves, for example are comfortable to wear and made of stylish, soft cotton. This allows your skin below to breath and these look similar to regular winter gloves. A positive affirmation grip on the inside also helps put you in a relaxing state of mind.

"In as little as five minutes, you can benefit from helpful relief ."

On the inside, however, vibration cells gently work to reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis, swelling or other issues. The vibrating motors serve to distract the pain signals traveling up and down your body, limiting their impact before they reach your brain, while the mild compress works to enhance blood circulation and simultaneously limit discomfort. 

The sensation of vibrating may soothe the body's pain receptors and also work to warm aching joints. The gloves can be turned on and off with a small button, and this is an over-the-counter alternative to traditional arthritis treatments.

Wraps placed on the calf, arm, elbow or knee, meanwhile, can offer similar relief for pain in the limbs. Like the gloves, small vibrating motors that line these wraps boost circulation. This benefits tendons and ligaments that can strengthen joints and help them recover from injury. Slight but continuous sensation may also mask pain by blocking or tricking signals being sent to the brain.