Vibration Therapy for Fibromyalgia Pain

Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O., M.R.O.

Rapid low level vibration has been shown to provide a speedy, safe and effective method for easing fibromyalgia pain. A hand held vibrator is suitable for this purpose and may require firm pressure contact of the vibrator for up to half an hour before relief is strongly noticed. Vibration therapy for fibromyalgia (100 to 200 cycles per second) should continue for 45 minutes at least.  Vibration Therapy relief of chronic fibromyalgia pain can last for many hours and in some instances for days. A high frequency works best (100Hz) if applied near to or below the area of pain (or according to Richard van Why to an antagonistic muscle or directly to a trigger point or reference zone).

Manually applied vibration or rhythmic rocking (‘Harmonic Technique’) is extremely soothing and helpful in chronic pain conditions with a tradition going back to the American Civil War where the method was used to help the pain of amputees.

Research at the University of California, Irvine, has show that when a range of physical methods were tested in treatment of myofascial pain including placebo ultrasound, spray and stretch, hydrocollator, real ultrasound and massage (ischemic compression/NMT) it was massage which came out ahead in providing immediate relief of fibromyalgia pain.

1.  Van Why R ‘Fibromyalgia and Massage’ symposium notes 1994
2.  Lederman E DO Harmonic Tecnique Arnica House London
3. Hong C-Z et al Immediate effects of various physical medicine modalities on pain threshold of active myofascial trigger points. J Musculoskeletal Pain 1(2) pp 37-53 1993
Dr. Chaitow is a practicing naturopath, osteopath, and acupuncturist in the UK, with over forty years clinical experience.  He regularly lectures in the USA and  Europe, and has written over 60 books on natural health and alternative medicine.