Percussion and Vibratory Therapy
Vibration is a very interesting modality and there are two main mechanisms by which it exerts physiological responses. The first is through the introduction of mechanical energy, which can increase blood and lymphatic flow, decrease pain and inflammation, increase the brains' awareness of the activated tissue and thus increase functionality. Interestingly enough, its main mechanism of action on muscle length and tension is a sensory illusion. Vibration (with some pressure behind it) actually increases the tone of the stimulated muscle while desensitizing receptors responsible for passing that sensation along. This trick is handy to know and really expands the utility of vibration as a modality for neuromuscular rehabilitation. Similar to manual tissue manipulation, vibration is definitely not a mono therapy and is used in conjunction with other therapies that solidify what would normally be transient changes.