Local vibration therapy by NOVAFON
Local vibration therapy has been established for decades and is a form of treatment that is simple, safe and effective. The most common areas of application include neurological and orthopaedic disorders. In the rehabilitation of neurological disorders, local vibration therapy is used in combination with standard treatment approaches such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, to treat spasticity, neglect and sensorimotor disorders. The main therapeutic aims are to gain an improved mobility range and to retain and regain functionality. The deep stimulation of proprioceptors, nerve endings and muscle spindles leads to a reduction in pain and a normalisation of muscle tension or muscle activation.
Mode of operation
Because of the particularly deep effect of 6 cm (Fraunhofer Institute, 1984) resulting from the vertical application of the vibrations, the NOVAFON sound wave device differs significantly from other vibration therapy devices. This unique mechanism makes it possible to direct the soundwaves precisely and intensively into the depth without losing a major part of their effect on the surface. This also avoids a loud buzzing or vibration of the handpiece. Generated frequencies (number of oscillations per second) of 50 HZ and 100 HZ are simple to set and change depending on patient feedback or therapeutic aim. Amplitude (height) of the wave is infinitely adjustable, thus permitting versatile application in various parts of the body.
Application for musculoskeletal pain
The earliest clinical studies investigating the pain-reducing effects of local vibration therapy date back to the 1980s. Since then, sound wave therapy has become established as an effective drug-free solution for acute and chronic pain of the locomotor system. The vibrations stimulate both superficial as well as deep mechanoreceptors and reduce the transmission of pain signals to the brain, as explained by the gate control theory (Melzack R & Wall PD, 1965). The application of vibration to the painful area or the surrounding trigger points has been proven to have a lasting pain-relieving effect in a number of chronic pain conditions (including fibromyalgia, tendinitis, and phantom pain) (Staud, 2011, Lundeberg, 1984-1987). The best pain reduction was achieved in the 100-200 Hz frequency range with light pressure and in the 50-150 Hz range with moderate pressure.
Application in neurological rehabilitation
Reduction of spasticity
Patients with acquired or congenital brain damage, chronic progressive diseases of the nervous system or spinal injuries often experience a pathological increase in muscle tone (spasticity). These are generally associated with pain and impaired mobility. Spasticity itself cannot be cured, but alleviated through physiotherapy and other therapeutic measures. The aim of every treatment is an increase in mobility range and a minimisation of complications such as contractions, inflamed joints and deformities. Local vibration therapy is an important building block in the treatment of spasticity. As a drug-free and non-invasive solution, this form of treatment aims to reduce the spasticity of the affected muscle and to regain motor control and thus an improved functionality of the affected extremity. A number of clinical studies showed that local vibration therapy helped to improve grasping function and gait in stroke patients (Mandic et al. 2012, Calindro et al. 2012, Tavernese et al. 2013) and children with infantile cerebral palsy (Eklund & Steen 1969, Celetti et al. 2011). The mechanisms of effectiveness are the tonic vibration reflex (Hagbarth & Eklund 1968) and the excitation of the sensorimotor cortex (Marconi et al. 2011). The NOVAFON sound wave devices are used to treat the spastic muscle itself (flexors) with 50 Hz (level 2) or the antagonist of the spastic muscle (extensors) with 100 Hz (level 1). The starting point can be directly on the tendon or on the muscle.
Improved exploration performance in cases of neglect
Several studies have shown an improvement in the visual exploration performance in stroke patients with neglect (a deficit in attention to and awareness of one side of space or body) when the neck muscles contralateral to the lesion were stimulated by vibration. This effect stems from the fact that the stretch receptors in the muscles and tendons of the neck are stimulated by vibration, resulting in an apparent rotation of the head (Schindler et al. 2002, Karnath et al. 2002). Local vibration therapy (also known as “neck muscle vibration”) has become established as the standard treatment for neglect. This simple method, often used in combination with exploration training, only requires little active input from the patient and is safe and simple to apply. Stimulation of the neck muscles can result in lasting improvement of visual perception. This not only improves exploratory ability, but also the ability to perform everyday tasks such as dressing, shaving or reading.
- Myofascial pain reduction
- Locomotor system pain reduction
- Phantom pain reduction
- Reduction of spasticity
- Muscle contraction to activate functionalities
- Gaining of motor control
- Neglect reduction
Added value in your surgery
- Simple and safe application
- Effectiveness confirmed in clinical studies
- Supporting application at home by the patient or his/her family
- Satisfied and enthusiastic patients