Vibration Platforms Are Not Ready for Bone Health

Because bone-building cells respond to electrical impulses generated through the bones by impact activities, it was thought that creating a platform to deliver vibration could act on the cellular mechanism in a similar way and benefit bone health.

What is the issue?

There are many vibration platforms on the market and most are intended for exercise. They are designed with greater amplitude and are marketed to improve balance, muscle strength and metabolism. However, when the manufacturers make claims that the devices increase bone density, we must take issue.

Data presented in 2014 (but not yet published) from a large randomized controlled trial in older adults found there was no change in bone density as a result of the vibration. Smaller studies that were done previously showed mixed results, but those studies may not have had enough subjects involved to be conclusive. No trials have looked at fall prevention or fracture prevention as outcomes. Any of these high amplitude vibration platforms would not be recommended for older adults or anyone with low bone density.

Although there may be some benefit from lower amplitude vibration platforms on balance, there is no data to confirm this belief.

The Bottom Line

One of the low amplitude device manufacturers has submitted their research to the FDA for approval. And until they are approved as safe and effective, American Bone Health does not recommend use of vibration platforms for bone health.

Finally, vibration platforms should not be considered a substitute for proven effective treatments.


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