Mom on Vibration Plate
Mom on Vibration Plate
As a huge fan of vibration therapy, I had to get my 87 years old mom on vibration. My concern was that my mom had her right knee meniscus partially removed when she was 40. Her knees have been very stiff. I was afraid that vibration would further damage her knees.
Last October when I visited my mom in Kunming, I brought her a VT003F vibration plate. I finally decided to let her on vibration therapy, believing the risk could be controllable by progressing at a very slow pace.
I had her to start with squat posture on the vibration plate set to 15Hz and low amplitude, 3 minutes a time, once a day.
After two days, she reported pain at around knee area. I asked her to take a break and try again.
It took about 2 weeks for the pain to relieve, and she tried again. After a couple of sessions she got the same pain, which took another 2 weeks to recover.
After these bad experiences, she refused to use the vibration machine again.
One of the notable feedbacks was that she often got popping or cracking sound from her knee area during the vibration. She was really afraid of that sound. I did research on the possible reasons about the sound, but I got no conclusion. As I am too far away, I could not actually see and hear what she experienced.
In February, because of Covid-19 epidemic, most cities in China were locked down. People were required to stay home. I was afraid of mom not getting enough physical activities, so I called her and persuaded her to use the vibration plate again. This time, only one minute a day, twice a day, and she did.
The one-minute vibration exercise session worked well. She did not report any pain. After about two weeks, she told me she was back to 3 minutes session and did not feel any obvious pain. She said she was able to somehow control to avoid the popping (or cracking) sound.
I kept asking her if she felt her knees and legs are stronger after vibration exercises. She said she did not feel much a difference. One day she told me that she kind of felt easier up and down the stairs recently. She lives on the 3rd floor of a condo building without an elevator.
Anyway, the fact that her body was trained to endure some mechanical impact from vibration was a good thing.
Now she could do a full 10-minute session at the lowest vibration intensity.
One day I asked her to try to squat a little lower. I thought that would improve her knee stiffness. However, that caused pain and popping sound again… I decided to let her to decide her own pace. I believe she will gradually progress to higher vibration intensity, building stronger muscles and easing her stiffness.
Mom has been fighting with serious bone loss issue for decades. She suffered compression fracture on a couple of her vertebrate bones 30 years ago. My goal is to get her gradually progress to 30 Hz vibration which supposedly would help bone density.
I hope the vibration can improve the functionalities of her musculoskeletal system and neuromuscular system.
About My Mom
Tomorrow mom will be celebrating her 88 year’s birthday. We are blessed that she is in good health condition for this age, except for her serious macular degeneration problem that affected her quality of life. Mom loves reading. My niece got her a big iPad. My brother installed an OCR to voice app, so she can take picture of her books and let the app to read for her. She is always a happy mom, always has a peace in her mind.
Mom insists to live independently in her own condo in Kunming. She does grocery shopping and cooking all by herself. My sister and brother often come to help for other shopping and housekeeping. Salute!
I am proud of mom. In her youth, she and her sisters and brothers had a very harsh time, because their father was purged during the revolution. Due to this family background, life was never easy for her from 50's to early 70's. Her way of fighting for the life was to work hard and to be considerate, which is always her teaching on us kids.
Before retirement, mom was the chief engineer of Yunnan Light Industry Institute. She designed and implemented the construction of many sugarcane mills and paper mills in Yunnan province, and some projects in Myanmar. That was why my family was never short of sugar when it was subject to ration in the 70’s.
Mom enjoyed her retirement life by travelling around China and many other countries.
In 2012, she stayed 6 months with us in Minnesota and celebrated her 80’s birthday here. We had a good opportunity to show her around the states durng her stay.
Tomorrow she will be 88. Happy Birthday Mom!
- Jay Tang
Interpreting life science from a mechanical engineering perspective.