Soccer player Soren Norman, 16, can play harder and kick farther than he could three months ago.
He and his mother, Deborah Norman, a nurse, credit much of his skill development to work with a vibration plate and osteogenic loading device at OsteoStrong on Osuna NE, just west of Eubank NE, which allows him to exercise with much heavier weight – 500 or 600 pounds for his upper body and as much as 1,300 pounds on the leg press – than he could otherwise.
“I was surprised that it worked so fast,” Soren says. “I noticed when I was punting the ball. I could just kick it farther than I ever could before.”
Deborah Norman says she studied the information about the device and was eager for Soren to try it, because he had broken an ankle and later, his wrist. She says their doctor told them those fractures could cause problems in the future, like osteoarthritis or bone loss.
When Soren sprained an ankle a few weeks ago and recovered within days instead of weeks, they both decided that they were doing something worthwhile.
“It would have normally taken six weeks for that to heal,” Deborah Norman says. She has also found relief in the once-a-week sessions from rheumatoid arthritis pain. “It really helps with my back pain.”
Charla and Sean Simpson opened the OsteoStrong studio in October 2013. It is part of a franchise operation that offers the same equipment and treatment sessions in more than dozen locations across the country.
Sean Simpson embraced the concept and business because his mother had osteoporosis, breaking her foot just standing up from the couch.
Charla Simpson says as a radiologic technologist who specialized in pain management, she was grateful to find a drug-free alternative for her patients.
She adds the sophisticated equipment, similar to that first developed to train Olympic athletes, is designed to trigger the body’s adaptive response to grow bone and muscle. In short bursts of the greatest effort they can summon for less than a minute, clients move through four exercises that target all the main muscle and joint groups.
A session at OsteoStrong is different from any regular exercise routine, she says. “Because we are using the correct biomechanical position to engage whole muscle groups at the same time, we are able to achieve high levels of loading that would relate closely to what would be achieved only through extremely high levels of impact exercises.”
“That means stimulating new bone growth through putting force or loads on the bones and muscles of the body,” she explains. “The truly unique part is that just about anyone can do it, and since each person is in control of their body they are able to stay comfortable throughout the entire session in a safe and controlled environment.”
John Jaquish, of Chicago, with a doctorate degree biomechanical engineering, invented and patented the bioDensity device and computer system.
In research published in the journal Osteoporosis International in 2013, he says volunteers developed an average of 7 percent greater bone density moving multiples of their body weight with his equipment. None were injured and none received medication, he says.
Co-author Dr. Eleanor Hynote, of Phoenix Wellcare, writes in Jaquish’s 2012 book, “Osteogenic Loading: A New Modality to Facilitate Bone Density Development,” that the bioDensity device increased her spine and hip bone density and had similar results for her patients, recruiting natural processes of “bone density development, muscular development and greater nervous system recruitment of tissue in movement.”
The principals of the system are based on biomechanical principals first discovered 100 years ago that “loading the body creates an adaptive response. The cleverness of this device was the level of loading the individual was able to receive while in a safe and controlled enviroment,” she writes.
Clients at OsteoStrong also use a vibration plate before and after the exercise session to stimulate the neuromuscular and neuroendocrine pathways. They then relax on a special massage table with a variable pulsed water jet vibration, enclosed in a tube, along the spine.
Clients should be cleared for activity from their medical provider but don’t need a referral, Charla Simpson says. Many of her clients visit OsteoStrong along with visits to their physical therapist.
According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, whole body vibration can be a good addition to a regular exercise program because it has been shown to reduce bone loss, improve balance and reduce back pain, although it suggests more research is needed.
Charla Simpson says her clients have increased bone density and muscle strength, while decreasing pain: “This isn’t magic, but it helps. You’ll get results.”