Whole Body Vibration—Contraindications

It is always advisable to consult with your physician before starting any exercise program. Ongoing research in the field of Whole Body Vibration (WBV) indicates that many people can actually benefit from this form of exercise. However, if you suffer from any of the following contraindications it is imperative that you discuss Whole Body Vibration therapy with your physician before beginning any training program with vibration equipment.

Note Regarding Low Intensity Vibration (LIV)

According to the FDA, there are no contraindication for the extremely gentle form of vibration called Low Intensity Vibration (LIV). However, I would still recommend caution with LIV with certain very sensitive conditions such as epilepsy controlled with medications, severe acute migraines, vertigo, retinal detachment issues, recently broken bones, joint replacements, and other conditions listed in the Absolute Contraindications category.

Relative Contraindications: Gentle, gradual WBV may be able to help with these conditions, but use the WBV with caution. You may also need additional therapies and/or supplements to tolerate the WBV and to gain its benefits. If you have these condition do not use WBV without guidance from a qualified natural health practitioner familiar with WBV, and the approval of your doctor.  (See also the list of Absolute Contraindications below these "Relative Contraindications" - do not use WBV at all if you have any of the Absolute Contraindications).

  • pregnancy
  • epilepsy (very mild and not needing to be controlled with medications)
  • minor migraines (mild, infrequent, and not needing to be controlled by medication)
  • gallstones, kidney stones, bladder stones (WBV can help small stones move out of the body, but large ones may get stuck, potentially leading to severe problems.)
  • articular rheumatism, arthrosis
  • acute rheumatoid arthritis
  • heart failure
  • cardiac dysrhythmia
  • cardiac disorders (post-myocardial infarction [heart attack])
  • metal or synthetic implants (e.g., pacemaker, artificial cardiac valves, recent stents, or brain implants)
  • chronic back pain after fracture, disc disorders, or spondylosis.
  • severe diabetes mellitus with peripheral vascular disease or neuropathy
  • tumors (excluding metastases in the musculoskeletal system)
  • spondylolisthesis (a misalignment front to back of the vertebrae) without gliding
  • movement disorders: Parkinson’s disease, MS, cerebral palsy, and others
  • chondromalacia of the joints of the lower extremities, osteonecrosis
  • arterial circulation disorders
  • venous insufficiency with ulcus cruris
  • Morbus Sudeck Stadium II (or complex regional pain syndrome [CRPS])
  • lymphatic edema
  • postoperative wounds
  • No WBV for 6 months after joint replacement surgery, after that WBV can help strengthen the bone to implant bonding.

Absolute Contraindications—meaning do not use a WBV device at all (with the possible exception of LIV*) if you have any of the following or if you have any concerns about your physical health!  

*Please talk to your doctor before using even LIV vibration with any of these conditions:

  • acute inflammations, infections, and/or fever
  • large gallstones, kidney stones, bladder stones (large enough to potentially get stuck in narrow tubes on the way out of your body)
  • acute arthropathy or arthrosis (such as an acute arthritis attack from an infectious or autoimmune disease)
  • joint replacements: You must wait six months after a joint replacement before using WBV. After that time, WBV is okay; the vibration will then improve the bond of bone to metal or other synthetic material.
  • bone fractures: For simple bone fractures, after six weeks it is okay to use WBV. For complex fractures or those involving implanted metal plates or screws, you must wait eight to twelve weeks before using WBV. Please consult with your doctor regarding your particular situation.
  • acute migraine
  • acute or severe epilepsy (needs to be controlled with medication)
  • retinal detachment (or a high risk of retinal detachment)
  • fresh (surgical) wounds
  • implants of the spine (spinal fusions are not a contraindication as long as they are healed)
  • acute or chronic deep vein thrombosis or other thrombotic afflictions
  • acute disc-related problems, spondylolysis (stress fracture of the vertebrae), gliding spondylolisthesis, or fractures
  • severe osteoporosis with BMD less than 70 mg/ml (T-scores less than –3.9)
  • spasticity (after stroke, spinal cord lesion, etc.)
  • Morbus Sudeck Stadium I (CRPS I)
  • tumors with metastases in the musculoskeletal system
  • vertigo or positional dizziness
  • acute myocardial infarction

or if you have any concerns about your physical health!