ALTON, IL -- The Human Motion Institute owes a sincere debt of gratitude to the White Cross Auxiliary for its recent contribution of the Power Plate Pro 6 whole body vibration unit.  Through the Auxiliary’s efforts, physical therapists at Alton Memorial Hospital are able to offer this new and innovative technology to a variety of orthopedic patients.

Whole body vibration has been studied thoroughly and uses small amplitude vibrations at varying frequencies. The vibrations stimulate a specific nerve receptor located in muscle and tendon, which contribute to developing tension-generating capabilities.

Human Motion Institute physical therapists Theresa Miller, far left, and Mike Hentrich, far right, with members of the White Cross Auxiliary and the Power Plate Pro 6 whole body vibration unit. Auxiliary members are, left to right, Cass Funkhouser, Kelli Lauschke and Irene McLaughlin. The equipment is located at the HMI Rehab and Sports Performance Center, 226 Regional Drive in Alton.

Those familiar with exercise training may have heard the term Plyometrics. A simple example of a Plyometric movement would be jumping, during which a muscle changes the nature of contraction from a lengthening phase to a shortening phase in a very short period of time. This results in stimulation of those specific receptors and subsequently increased tension development within the muscle tendon unit. This is a very powerful and advanced mode of strength development.

However, it also exposes the body to unwanted compressive forces, which are obviously detrimental to arthritic joints. Whole body vibration mimics this phenomenon in a very controlled situation, protecting the joint surfaces while still stimulating those specific nerve receptors responsible for helping to generate intramuscular tension and ultimately strength.

We at the Human Motion Institute are continuing to see more patients who suffer from degenerative joint disease. The importance of strength in this population is critical in controlling pain and maintaining function, oftentimes in the knees and hips, but also in the spine and ankles. This form of training provides an excellent adjunct to conventional strength training, and thanks to the White Cross Auxiliary we are able to offer this to our patients.

In addition to our gratitude to the White Cross Auxiliary, we also recognize the community at large who, through their help and support of Auxiliary functions and fund raisers, have ultimately provided the resources that help us to better serve members of our community. Our department is only one example of many throughout Alton Memorial Hospital that has been able to improve the quality of its services through the efforts of the White Cross Auxiliary.

Keep up the great work! We tip our hats to all of you. 

Mike Hentrich is a physical therapist as well as a certified strength and conditioning specialist at Alton Memorial Hospital’s Human Motion Institute.

The Human Motion Institute is a service of Alton Memorial Hospital that provides physical, occupational and speech therapy. For purposes of insurance coverage, look for Alton Memorial Hospital in your provider directory and when communicating with your insurance company.

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