Whole Body Vibration Therapy for Patients with Multiple Sclerosis – A Review




Cramer, Courtney
Caldwell-Webster, Tyler
Cramer, Caitlin
Holmes, Clayton
Salem, Yasser
Liu, Howe


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Background and Purpose: Whole body vibration (WBV) therapy has been used more frequently for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) in last 10 years, but the results seem to be inconsistent. The purpose of this review is to analyze how different variables including intervention parameters and outcome assessment instruments might affect the results of WBV therapy on patients with MS. Methods: PubMed and Scopus were used for searching literature published in English from 1996 - 2016. Key words were: whole body vibration (WBV), vibrotherapy, and multiple sclerosis. Included articles had to be prospective longitudinal studies. Results: Fourteen studies were qualified including 12 randomized control trials and 2 single-group studies. The studies found that, regardless of standing statically (without moving at all - 11 studies) or dynamically (feet stable with trunk and arms incorporated in exercise – 3 studies) on the vibration platform, younger aged patients (yrs) and/or less disabled patients (as measured with Expandable Disability Status Scale – EDSS 45 yrs) and more disabled patients (EDSS [greater than] 5.0) showed no difference from regular exercises. For WBV the most frequent intervention parameters were 3/week (7/11 articles, ranged 1- 5/week) for frequency, 3 weeks or 8 weeks (3/13 articles, respectively, ranged from 1 - 20 weeks) for duration, and 5 min per session (6/10 articles, ranged from 5 – 10 minutes as a single intervention, or from 30-50 minutes as part of a combined study). These parameters demonstrated inconsistent results. Of the vibration parameters mentioned in 7 studies, 1-3 mm in amplitude with on-off time ratios at 1:1 (45 sec on: 45 sec off) and frequency from 2 - 50 Hz were identified. It revealed that different frequencies of vibration created inconsistent results in terms of patient’s balance, mobility, and endurance. However, muscle strength was consistently improved in high frequency ([greater than] 11Hz), but not in lower frequency (Hz). Conclusions: Younger aged patients (yrs) and/or patients with low EDSS score (