Salem volunteers sought for bone, muscle Study


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Researchers at Oregon State University are seeking senior citizen volunteers from the Salem area for a study on the use of whole body vibration to aid people who have had hip replacement surgery.

There is evidence that a whole body vibration exercise regime similar to that used by astronauts and Olympians may have value for improving strength, flexibility and balance following hip surgery. Volunteers will be put through workouts on vibrating platforms, said Gianni Maddalozzo, a researcher in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at OSU.

The portion of the study and exercise therapy being done in Salem will conducted under the supervision of Johnny W. Galver, a physical therapist, at the BPM Physical Therapy Center.

Customized workouts will be created for volunteers ages 60-75 who have had hip replacement surgery in the past three years. Participants will then undergo supervised workouts for two days a week. A control group will also be recruited and will perform the same exercises, but won’t use the vibrating platform. In addition to customized workouts, participants will receive free bone scans to measure bone mass.

In hip fracture patients, experts say, a primary goal is recovering strength and balance.

"The bone heals itself, that's not the issue,” Maddalozzo said. “The issue is increasing muscle mass, strength and balance with a workout program that is safe and practical."

"Whole body vibration training has been promoted as an efficient, safe alternative for resistance training,” he said. “Even if performed to exhaustion, the increases in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen uptake during whole body vibration training are negligible. Moreover, vibration training has been shown to be as efficient as standard resistance training for improving strength and balance in older women."

The therapy period will last six months. Anyone interested in volunteering for the study can contact Maddalozzo at 541-737-6802 or gianni.maddalozzo@oregonstate.edu.