Increase Blood Flow and Activate Muscle Mass

Whole-body vibration alters blood flow velocity and neuromuscular activity in Friedreich’s ataxia

Clin. Physiol Funct Imaging. 2010 Nov 15

Research Center on Physical Disability, ASPAYM Castilla y León, Valladolid, Spain Laboratory of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Miguel de Cervantes European University, Valladolid, Spain Institute of Biomedicine, University of León, León, Spain

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of whole-body vibration (WBV) on blood flow velocity and muscular activity after different vibration protocols in Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) patients.

Method: After two familiarization sessions ten patients received six 3 min WBV treatments depending on a combination of frequency (10, 20 or 30 Hz) and protocol (constant or fragmented). Femoral artery blood flow velocity, vastus lateralis (VL) and vastus medialis (VM) electromyography (EMG), and rate of perceived exertion were registered.

Results: Peak blood velocity was increased with respect to basal values after 1, 2 and 3 min of WBV (14·8%, 18·8% and 19·7%, respectively, P < 0·001).

Likewise, mean blood velocity was increased with respect to basal values after 1, 2 and 3 min of WBV (17·3%, 19·4% and 16·6%, respectively, P < 0·001).

EMG amplitude of VL and VM was increased (39% and 23%, respectively, P < 0·05) and EMG frequencies decreased during the application of WBV.

The results of this study suggest that higher frequencies (30 Hz) produce a greater increase in blood flow velocity and rate of perceived exertion.

Conclusion: WBV is an effective method to increase blood flow and to activate muscle mass in patients with Friedreich’s ataxia, and could therefore be considered to be incorporated in rehabilitation programs of this collective.