Med Eng Phys. 2014 Nov;36(11):
Traction and vibration are commonly used to relieve LBP.
The effect of combining traction and vibration on back muscles, heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) was investigated. Supine traction of varying angles with vibration were combined (0°, 10°, 20° and 30°) (0 Hz, 2 Hz and 12 Hz). The combination of traction and vibration (from 2 Hz vibration along Z-axis and up to 12 Hz vibration along Y-axis) had no significant effect on the cardio-vascular system. The activity of lumbar erector spinae (LES) and upper trapezius (UT) decreased significantly when the angle reached 20° under the condition of 2 Hz vibration along Z-axis compared with it of 0°. Furthermore, the MPF also decreased significantly compared to static mode at 20° for LES and at 30° for UT. However at 12 Hz vibration along Y-axis, we recorded significant increase at 20° and 30° compared to 0°. For LES, the MPF also had significant difference when the angle was increased from 10° to 20°.
Comment: This study gives us some insight into a few aspects of traction we promote. It validates traction with vibration is not a problem to the cardiovascular system. Additionally muscle activity is diminished generally however at steeper angles (inversion devices) and high-Hz vibration, muscle activity may actually increase. Vibration-plate users recognize this…high levels create increased muscle activity. Additionally the steeper the “inversion” angles the more muscle activity. This suggests moderate inversion and lighter vibration are preferred for pain relief.