RSI pain in a work context is generally about being in a static posture for too long. No amount of improved ergonomics removes the need to be seated for many jobs which then leads to back pain. Similarly, being on your feet all day also places great strains on your back also leading to back pain. People aren’t designed for extended periods in static postures!
Are you frequently…sat at a desk for hours …. or ….
on your feet for hours?
Vibration therapy takes 1 to 5 minutes typically per session so it’s very time efficient for busy lifestyles and they offer significant health benefits generally. You simply stand, sit, lay down with the machine and it exercises your muscles for you!
Vibration machines are widely used in physiotherapy and their principles were developed during space race times as a means of keeping astronauts in good physical condition in space.
Do they work in practice?
Yes! Like ergonomic vertical mice, vibration devices also take a little getting used to but we have tried a range of these types of devices and they deliver excellent results. Our founder uses a Vibration Plate and a Massager on a daily basis for his neck RSI condition – “it’s almost like having your own live-in Physiotherapist!” – read more about vibration therapy
Vibration Therapy Buying Guide
Compact 3D Vibration plate
High quality compact 3D vibration plate with wide range of settings.View UK supplier
Deep Tissue Massager
2 speed, 3m cable, non-slip handle. Portable. Excellent therapeutic device with great build quality.View UK supplier
Percussion Massage Gun
3 speed, portable, rechargable Percussion Massage GunView UK supplier
Whole body professional vibration plate
Professional tri-plane clinical use machine with wide range of settings.View UK supplier
Compact Vibration plate
Good home sized whole-body 3D vibration plate with wide range of settings. Max. user weight: 330lbs. Easy to store.
Deep Tissue Massager
6 speed, portable, rechargable Percussion Massage GunView USA supplier
Whole body professional vibration plate machine
Professional tri-plane, clinical use machine with wide range of settings.View USA supplier
How does Vibration Therapy work?
Vibration therapy causes your muscles to react against the machine’s movements by contracting, stretching tendons and increasing blood flow and blood oxygenation. This initially relaxes tight muscles which cause much of the pain associated with RSI conditions as tight muscles restrict nerves. Secondly, vibration exercise actually strengthens and tones muscles and tendons without any effort on your part. They are also said to beneficially increase bone density too although that aspect is beyond our scope.
They can be used for various conditions and benefits include: increased range of motion, coordination, posture and decreased cortisol (your adrenal gland creates cortisol in response to any kind of stress)
The two devices that we are particularly interested in for RSI therapies are the Vibration Plate and the Physio Massager.
Vibration plates come in different shapes and sizes. The principle is that you stand or sit on these machines and vibrations are transmitted up through your body. Their price in general reflects how much treatment they can deliver. Weight and motor size is important and the bigger and heavier the better but for home use you may need to compromise of course. Although not particularly noisy as such, their vibrations do transmit through floor boards so consider carefully where you site it; solid floors are perfect but not essential.
Professional grade vibration plate machines are used by physiotherapy clinics and gyms and when standing on one of these you will even feel the hair on your head vibrate! They are frequently used by gyms and serious fitness enthusiasts for body and general muscle toning. Site them on a solid floor ideally. These are great for home RSI treatment too!
Home grade vibration plates are smaller. In general, the heavier they are the better they are so don’t be surprised at their weight. For back, neck and shoulder pain, you will feel most benefit by sitting on the plate and you will feel the vibrations transmit up through your body. Having your hands on the plate too can work well but don’t try this at first as this could be too vigorous! In general, the heavier they are the better they are so don’t be surprised at their weight.
Physio Massager – home physio!
This physio massager is used by many physiotherapists and we can’t praise it enough! It is approximately 15 inches or 40cm long and a perfect weight for the job at 3.5lb or 1.6kg. Don’t be tempted to buy lighter devices, they won’t be effective!
As they work on the principle of stimulating your muscles and tendons which can easily become fatigued when you have been in a fixed posture for a while they are perfect for relieving tight muscles associated with long periods at the PC or laptop and driving cars and lorries.
Use the device on muscle or tendon, ideally with advice from a physiotherapist. Never drag a physio massager across your neck or spine while it is running. It is however possible to position this one carefully with its heads on either side of your spine for neck pain relief.
Applying the vibrating head to painful neck, shoulder or arm for 1 or 2 minutes is usually enough to provide much relief.
You can also use one of these in the car if you buy a Car Inverter Power Adapter which converts car battery voltage to mains electrical voltage and has a standard mains socket on it.
If you are at all unsure, check with your GP or Physio first. There are some conditions which are unsuitable for these devices, however most RSI conditions benefit greatly from vibration and massage therapies.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can arise through vibration caused by pneumatic drills and so it is thought that it is not advised to have focused vibration on wrists but again, do consult your GP or Physiotherapist first.