If you’ve ever been in our physical therapy department, you’ve seen our PowerPlate® exercise machine. In response to the overwhelming success of this technology, Monmouth Pain and Rehab has recently added several new PowerPlate machines to our physical therapy department.
What does this mean for our patients?
First, let’s talk about the basic goals of physical therapy. We use physical therapy for patients with back pain, neck pain, knee pain, arthritis, sports injuries, car accident traumas, etc. in order to accomplish a number of important objectives. These are (among others):
- To increase movement, flexibility, and mobility;
- Promote healing;
- Build strength for enhanced performance and/or to prevent future injury; and
- Reduce pain.
PowerPlate technology is an awesome addition to many programs of physical therapy because it uses vibration technology to help patients exercise in ways that are more efficient. The PowerPlate machine uses vibration (known as Acceleration Training™) to create a natural response within the body—a response that leads to more effective programs of exercise. The vibrations produced by the PowerPlate activate muscle contractions between 25 and 50 times per second, thereby boosting exercise performance.
How, exactly, does it work?
Let me explain. Each vibration creates instability within the body. As such, the body is forced to perform reflexive or responsive muscle actions multiple times every second. Additionally, PowerPlate machines oscillate in all three planes—just as your body was designed to do. As a result, strength and power are given a giant boost with the use of this machine.
The history behind PowerPlate technology and Acceleration Training is pretty interesting. It was invented by Guus van der Meer, a Dutch Olympic coach and a real leader in the innovation of athletic training and exercise. In creating the PowerPlate machine, Van der Meer studied the whole body vibration exercises originally developed for Russian cosmonauts seeking ways to recover from the effects of zero gravity.
So, how does PowerPlate enhance physical therapy programs?
On a fundamental level, PowerPlate technology exponentially increases the efficacy of exercise. When you research the benefits of using PowerPlate, they echo the list we made of basic physical therapy objectives—except that this technology enhances the ability to achieve such goals.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using Accelerated Training with the PowerPlate:
- Builds strength, improves muscle tone;
- Increases range of motion, stability, balance, and coordination;
- Improves circulation, which promotes healing;
- Assists in the weight-loss process; and
- Helps to relieve pain by improving joint function and boosting the healing process.
For example, many people suffer from back pain due to weak core muscles. The PowerPlate machine stimulates reflexive core muscle contractions to gain strength. It also boosts blood flow to these core abdominal/spinal muscles. As such, patients build muscle strength and eliminate back pain while improving overall quality of life.
Which types of patients can use the PowerPlate?
Many of Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation’s patients already use the PowerPlate as part of a larger program of pain management and physical therapy. Their success stories are a major reason that we’ve decided to expand the use of PowerPlate in our office with new machines.
For patients suffering from a variety of issues, this machine allows for exercise with less resistance than traditional exercise machines (bicycles, treadmills) while experiencing a workout program that is 200% more effective. It is also helpful for older patients who are no longer able to exercise at previous levels.
If you are suffering from an injury or illness, it is always important to exercise under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. The best way to know which exercises are right for you, and to discover how PowerPlate can safely maximize your rehabilitation/ fitness route, is to discuss your condition with the physical therapists at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation. In addition to being some of the most compassionate people I’ve met, they are also highly skilled and really enthusiastic about helping patients recover from painful and disabling conditions.
Please contact our office to learn more about Monmouth County physical therapy for back pain, knee pain, auto accident injuries, sports-related pain, arthritis, and any other painful condition.