Can vibration damage nerves?
Vibration has been used in various industries for decades, as well as in everyday items like shrewd phones and musical instruments. However, it can cause potential harm to the nerves of workers and others exposed to it. This is because vibration makes slight but repeated injury to the small nerves and blood vessels, leading to long-term nerve damage. In this article, we will discuss what you should know about how vibration affects the nerves, possible symptoms and treatment options.
Vibration and Its Impact on Nerves
Any type of impact, vibration or shock to the nerves can cause peripheral neuropathy, a condition caused by damage or dysfunction of the peripheral nervous system. Peripheral nerves are responsible for connecting the brain and spinal cord to muscles, skin and organs. They have three main functions: to receive sensation such as pain, vibration or touch from the skin; to control muscle movement; and to control functions such as digestion and bladder control. Common signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include pain, burning, tingling, numbness, and muscle cramps.
The impact that vibration can have on the nerves was first studied by examining the effect of vibration on the myelin sheath, the protective coating of insulation around nerve fibers. It was found that the amount of damage directly correlated to the duration of the vibration, with more damage happening the longer it was subjected to vibration. In addition, light microscopy of longitudinal slices was an effective method to quantify the nerve damage.
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome
Another study looked at hand-arm vibration syndrome, a condition that occurs when an individual has been exposed to excessive vibration, usually through an object or tool. The exact cause of hand-arm vibration syndrome is not clear, but it is probably due to repeated and long-term contact with shaking tools. Symptoms include tingling and numbness of the fingers and hands, as well as pain and discoloring of the skin. It is estimated that up to 10% of people who work with vibrating tools may develop the condition.
Vibration Therapy and Nerve Health
To combat the effects of vibration on the nerves, vibration therapy has been used as a non-invasive method to help the body relieve pain and regenerate damaged nerves. Vibration plates are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare and alternative health industries, as they are effective in improving blood circulation. This is important because poor circulation can cause nerve damage and tissue damage, leading to further issues.
In addition, vibrations can be used to stimulate the nerve cells and improve nerve function. This can be beneficial in conditions such as isolated nerve dysfunction, a condition where a single peripheral nerve is damaged, typically in the neck or lower back. Symptoms of isolated nerve dysfunction may include tingling, shooting pain, weakness or disability in the affected area. Vibration can be used to restore the health of affected nerves and improve symptoms.
Risks and Precautions
When using vibration therapy for nerve health, it is important to follow the instructions of your healthcare provider, as overuse may cause further damage. Furthermore, it is not recommended to use handheld vibrators in the genital area as repeated use may be harmful.
Vibration can cause potential harm to the nerves due to slight but repeated injury to the small nerves and blood vessels. Exposure to excessive vibration can lead to long-term damage, such as hand-arm vibration syndrome. It is important to take precautionary measures when exposed to vibration, and to seek medical advice if symptoms arise. Vibration therapy can be a beneficial complementary treatment to improve circulation, stimulate nerve cells and reduce pain in nerve-related conditions.