View Full Version : Muscular Pains/Vibration Frequency

Mel Siff
08-30-1998, 06:37 AM
In a message dated 8/29/98, geoffrey.walsh@ed.ac.uk wrote:

>Hand held vibrators which run off the mains supply are widely known and
>widely available. I think there is no doubt that the may fairly often
>give some relief for people with what may be loosely called muscular
>pains. The relief is obtained during the application, and does not
>usually last for long afterwards . . . . .
>I believe the vibration generated is twice the mains frequency. In
>Europe this will be at 100 Hz in North America 120 Hz.
>But are these frequencies the optimum ? Has the effect using other
>frequencies been tested in relation to the degree of pain relief
>achieved ? . . . . . .
***The following translated chapter in Siff M C & Yessis M (eds): "Sports
Restoration and Massage" 1992 may be of interest. There are several other
chapters devoted to topic of local and point massage or vibratory stimulation,
but are somewhat lengthy to post here. Copies of this textbook may still be
available from: SptsTrng@aol.com.

The Influence of Pneumo-Vibromassage on the Neuromuscular System

V Kopysov
Tyazhelaya Atletika, Russia 52-53, 1978

An effective method for regulating the functional condition of ath letes is
low-frequency vibromassage (VM). Experimental studies conducted on rowers,
skiers, and runners have demonstrated the merit of using VM, especially during
periods of heavy training.

Vibration at 10-15 Hz induces faster recovery, has a positive effect on
different body systems; promotes lower muscle tonus, a higher stable state,
lower arterial pressure, more rapid oxidative processes, etc. Until now,
there has been practically no study of the effect of VM on the emotional state
and the possibility for modifying it during weightlifting competition. We
conducted a study of 12 highly qualified weightlifters.

Changes in involuntary functions were measured via heart rate and
biopotentiometry data; and changes in emotional status were assessed by a
self-evaluation scale. We studied two procedures: 'recovery' VM (10-15Hz) and
'tonic' VM (up to 35 Hz).

Low-frequency (recovery-type) VM was administered two hours after workouts.
The duration of the session was about 20 minutes. Most of the time was spent
on muscles that bore the heaviest load in training. During the massage the
athlete was told that the procedure has a beneficial effect on the muscles,
lowers emotional tension, etc. Tonic-type VM was administered immediately
before workouts. Duration of massage was 10 min utes. Leg and trunk muscles
received most of the massage.

Recovery-type VM significantly lowered the examined parameters in all test
sub jects. Biopotentiometry levels changed the most (an average of 32.9%). The
individual re action to the massage should be noted. For example, variation in
anxiety state was 43.7%. In other words, the sample with reference to this
parameter was extremely hetero geneous.

The athletes' subjective evaluation of the effect of the massage was positive.
They noted a diminished feeling of fatigue, and general calmness. Recovery-
type VM (low fre quency) promoted faster recovery, normalisation of autonomic
functions and a lower initial anxiety level.

Tonic-type VM brought about significant increases in the examined parameters,
which indicates increased readiness for the forthcoming activity. The
appearance of posi tive changes resulting from different frequencies of VM
allows us to support use of VM to optimise a lifter's pre-competition

We assessed the anxiety state of 14 lifters (Masters of Sport) on the day of
compe tition 1-1.5 hours before they were to appear on the platform. The
anxiety level was then compared with the optimal anxiety level for each
athlete, as determined during the course of a preliminary retrospective
questionnaire. Depending on the direction of the emotional changes (above or
below the individual optimum), control of pre-competition condition was
brought about with the help of VM.

VM was usually administered immediately after the weigh-in. Duration of the
proce dure was 5-10 minutes. Simultaneously, rational psychotherapy with a
pedagogical em phasis was carried out. For lifters whose anxiety level was
below their individual opti mum, a 5-minute tonic VM was used.

The effect of the VM was determined by comparing two groups of athletes (7 in
each group), one using and one not using VM. The two groups were the same in
qualification, degree of fitness, and initial anxiety level.

The group that was subjected to control of pre-competition condition performed
more successfully. They were more confident and poised than the other group.

Hence, we recommend the two regimens of VM in order to optimise the pre-
competi tion emotional state of the weightlifters.

The duration of VM is determined by the amount of deviation of the anxiety
level from the individual athlete's optimum. If the optimal level is exceeded
significantly, the duration of recovery-type VM is increased up to 20-25
minutes. Best results come from VM admin istered 1-1.5 hours before the start
of competition. It is necessary to control the athlete's interaction with
nearby people, because the 'microenvironment' can alter substantially an
athlete's emotional state.

Dr Mel C Siff
Littleton, Colorado, USA

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