Vibration Therapy Research

Maloney-Hinds C, Petrofsky JS, Zimmerman G. The effect of 30 Hz vs. 50 Hz passive vibration and duration of vibration on skin blood flow in the arm. Med Sci Monit 2008; 14(3): 112-116.

  • 5 minutes of 30 Hz or 50 Hz vibration produced significant increases in SBF. Clinically, 50 Hz has additional benefits because SBF increased more rapidly and did not result in vasoconstriction during the recovery period.
  • The fifth minute of vibration yielded the greatest increases in flow with a mean of 360% in the 30 Hz group and a mean of 511% in the 50 Hz group.
  • Clinically these increases (in blood flow) would be beneficial to many populations especially those with diabetes. Over time, Type II diabetes can lead to autonomic nervous system damage which can lead to circulatory problems which can lead to ulcerations. Methods which may increase circulation may aid in wound healing in these populations.

Bovenzi M, Griffin MJ, Ruffell CM. Acute effects of vibration on digital circulatory function in healthy men. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 1995; 52: 834-841.

  • Acute vibration can induce significant changes in the blood flow and skin temperature

Figueroa A, Vicil F, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA. Acute exercise with whole-body vibration decreases wave reflection and leg arterial stiffness. Am J Cardiovascular Dis 2011; 1(1): 60-67.

  • Whole-body vibration exercise (WBV) acutely decreases brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), an index of systemic arterial stiffness.
  • The decrease in wave reflection magnitude was due to vasodilation of peripheral arteries.
  • Thus, the prolonged decrease in leg PWV after WBV exercise could be attributed mainly to the local effect of vibration on the leg arteries.

Otsuki T, Takanami Y, Aoi W, Kawai Y, Ichikawa H, Yoshikawa T. Arterial stiffness acutely decreases after whole-body vibration in humans. Acta Physiol 2008; 194: 189-194.

  • WBV acutely decreases arterial stiffness.
  • WBV is feasible not only in healthy humans but also in vulnerable populations such as elderly nursing home residents and immobilized patients, such as those with osteogenesis imperfect.
  • Increased arterial stiffness is an independent risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease
  • Previous studies have demonstrated that pharmacological inhibition of nitric oxide synthase increased arterial stiffness in humans, suggesting that nitric oxide participates in the regulation of arterial stiffness.
  • The mechanical influences of WBV on artery may be related to endothelial function and to the acute decreases in arterial stiffness.

Zhang Q, Ericson K, Styf J. Blood flow in the tibialis anterior muscle by photoplethysmography during foot-transmitted vibration. Eur J Appl Physiol 2003; 90: 464-469.

  • This made it possible to detect a relative increase in MBF of 20% during an acute vibration exposure.
  • The ease of use and simplicity of equipment for measurements of MBF by PPG are unrivalled by other methods.
  • In the present study, MBF increased with time of exposure to vibration and it did not return to the baseline immediately after vibration.

Stewart JM, Karman C, Montgomery LD, McLeod KJ. Plantar vibration improves leg fluid flow in perimenopausal women. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2005; 288: 623-629.

  • The results suggest that plantar vibration serves to significantly enhance peripheral and systemic blood flow, peripheral lymphatic flow, and venous drainage.
  • However, calf blood flow increased during plantar stimulation in the upright position (from 1.2 +/- 0.2 at 0 Hz, to 1.6 +/- 0.4 at 15 Hz, and to 1.8 +/- 0.4 ml per 100 ml per min at 45 Hz)
  • This represents 33% increase in blood flow at 15 Hz vibration and a 50% increase at 45 Hz.

Yamada E et al. Vastus lateralis oxygenation and blood volume measured by near-infrared spectroscopy during whole body vibration. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging 2005; 25: 203-208.

  • The way to reduce TPR (total peripheral resistance) during vibration would be opening more capillaries or dilating some vessels or both. This would increase the total surface area of the micro-vessels in the muscles. Thus, the gas and material metabolism between the blood and the muscle fibres would be improved. This gives at least a hint to the mechanism for various potential benefits associated with vibration training.
  • As a reaction of compensation, more capillaries are probably opened in order to keep a necessary level of cardiac output needed for the body, resulting in more efficient gas and material metabolism between the blood and muscle fibres. This might be one of the reasons for the various potential beneficial effects of vibration training.

Herrero AJ, et al. Whole-body vibration alters blood flow velocity and neuromuscular activity in Friedrich’s ataxia. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging 2010.

  • The results of this study suggest that higher frequencies (30 Hz) produce a greater increase in blood flow velocity and rate of perceived exertion.
  • Moreover, this study provides evidence that a high frequency of vibration (30 Hz) generated more neuromuscular activation than a low frequency (10 Hz). Increasing frequency produced systematic increases in leg blood flow velocity, EMG and RPE. These findings suggest that greater frequencies may be used during WBV treatment to elicit a greater neuromuscular stimulus.

Lythgo N, Eser P, de Groot P, Galea M. Whole-body vibration dosage alters leg blood flow. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging 2009; 29: 53-59.

  • Compared to the non-vibration bouts, frequencies of 10–30 Hz increased mean blood cell velocity by approximately 33% (P<0Æ01) whereas 20–30 Hz increased peak blood cell velocity by approximately 27% (P<0Æ01).
  • Vibration may lead to an increase in shear forces at the vascular endothelium due to the inertia of the blood.
  • Endothelial-derived vasodilators such as nitric oxide and prostaglandins are thought to be released as a response to increased shear forces at the vascular endothelium.

Kerschan-Schindl et al. Whole-body vibration exercise lead to alterations in muscle blood volume. Clinical Physiology 2001; 21(3): 377-382.

  • The mean blood flow velocity in the popliteal artery increased from 6.5 to 13.0 cm s -1 and its resistive index was significantly reduced.
  • This study showed that WBV doubled blood flow to the legs.
  • The results indicate that low-frequency vibration does not have the negative effects on peripheral circulation known from occupational high-frequency vibration.

Trans T, Aaboe J, Henriksen M, Christensen R, Bliddal H, Lund H. Effect of whole body vibration exercise on muscle strength and proprioception in females with knee osteoarthritis. The Knee 2009; 16: 256-261.

  • This study showed that the WBV-exercise regime on a stable platform yielded increased muscle strength, while the WBV-exercise on a balance board showed improved threshold for detection of passive movement (TDPM), a measure of proprioception.
  • Vibrations elicit a response called “tonic vibration reflex”, including activation of muscle spindles, mediation of the neural signals by Ia afferents, and activation of muscle fibres via large α-motor neurons. The tonic vibration reflex is also able to cause an increase in recruitment of the motor units through activation of muscle spindles and polysynaptic pathways.
  • It is well known that the input of proprioceptive pathways (Ia, IIa and probably IIb) play an important role in the production of isometric contractions

Sanduo B et al. Effect of whole-body vibration exercise on balance in women with fibromyalgia syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2012; 18(2): 158-164.

  • Women with FM may increase their medio-lateral stabiligy index (MLSI) by engaging in a 6week traditional exercise program with supplementary WBV. This may have implications for falls prevention in this patient group.
  • After the intervention period participants who exercised with WBV improved postural balance (MLSI) by 42.63% with eyes open and 25.57% with eyes closed.
  • Large improvements in balance were found, which may indicate that WBV training can have a relatively quick and positive influence on the proprioceptive system in FM.

Bogaerts A, Verschueren S, Delecluse C, Claessens AL, Boonen S. Effects of whole body vibration training on postural control in older individuals: a 1 year randomized controlled trial. Gait and Posture 2007; 26: 309-316.

  • Whole body vibration training was associated with reduced falls frequency on a moving platform when vision was disturbed and improvements in the response to toes down rotations at the ankle induced by the moving platform.
  • Thus, whole body vibration training may improve some aspects of postural control in community dwelling older individuals.
  • The mechanical stimuli are transmitted to the body where they stimulate the primary endings of the muscle spindles which in turn activate alpha-motor neurons resulting in muscle contractions. Previous studies have shown that WBV is associated with increases in lower limb muscle strength which is essential for postural stability. Because WBV provides a strong sensory stimulus that activates the muscle spindles, it might also enhance proprioception.

Cheung WH et al. High-frequency whole-body vibration improves balancing ability in elderly women. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2007; 88: 852-857.

  • WBV was effective in improving the balancing ability in elderly women. This also provides evidence to support our user-friendly WBV treatment protocol of 3 minutes a day for the elderly to maintain their balancing ability and reduce risks of fall.
  • Movement velocity improved from 14.96 in the control group to 53.49 in WBV group
  • Maximum point excursion improved from 3.36 to 18.84
  • Because these functional parameters involve the ability to recruit muscle fibers, muscular adaptation, and neuromuscular coordination, these improvements indicate that WBV would be effective in enhancing neuromuscular rehabilitation.

Gusi N, Parraca JA, Olivares PR, Leal Alejo, Adsuar JC. Tilt vibratory exercise and the dynamic balance fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial. Arthritis Care and Research 2010; 62(8): 10721078.

  • Based on ITT analysis, the dynamic balance of the vibration group improved by 36% as compared with baseline, whereas that of the control group was unchanged.
  • Changes in performance on timed up-and-go and Tinetti-test (for body balance and total score) were significantly better for the WBV+ compared to the control group (p = 0.029 for timed up-andgo, p = 0.001 and p = 0.002 for Tinetti body balance and total score respectively). In fact, subjects of the WBV+ group improved significantly on the timed upand-go test (p = 0.008), whereas no change was observed in the controls.
  • 27.5% improvement in timed get-up and go

Spiliopoulou SI, Amiridis IG, Tsigganos G, Economides D, Kellis E. Vibration effects on static balance and strength. Int J Sports Med 2010; 31: 610-616.

  • After vibration training, postural sway significantly decreased in both directions for the vibration group in all tasks

Pang MYC. Whole body vibration therapy in fracture prevention among adults with chronic disease. World Journal of Orthopedics 2010; 1(1): 20-25.

  • WBV therapy is also proposed to have potential therapeutic effects on muscle strength and other important sensorimotor functions such as postural control

Bruyere O et al. Controlled whole body vibration to decrease fall risk and improve health-related quality of life of nursing home residents. Arch Phys Med Rehab 2005; 86: 303-307.

  • After 6 weeks, the vibration intervention group improved by a mean standard deviation of 2.4 +/- 2.3 points on the gait score compared with no score change in the control group (P_.001).
  • The intervention group improved by 3.5 +/- 2.1 points on the body balance score (40% increase) compared with a decrease of 0.3_1.2 points in the control group (P_.001).
  • Timed get up and go test time decreased by 11.0 +/- 8.6 seconds in the treated group (43% improvement) compared with an increase of 2.6 +/- 8.8 seconds in the control group (P_.001).
  • The intervention group had significantly greater improvements from baseline on 8 of 9 items on the SF-36 compared with the control group.

Bautmans I, Van Hees E, Lemper JC, Mets T. The feasibility of whole body vibration in institutionalized elderly persons and its influence on muscle performance, balance, and mobility: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Geriatrics 2005; 5(17)

In nursing home residents with limited functional dependency, six weeks static WBV exercise is feasible, and is beneficial for balance and mobility: a randomized controlled trial.BMC Geriatrics 2005; 5(17)

  • In nursing home residents with limited functional dependency, six weeks static WBV exercise is feasible, and is beneficial for balance and mobility.
  • 27.5% increase in timed get up and go test
  • 25.7% increase in 30 second chair stand balance test