PLoS One, 2016; 11(12): e0166774, PMID: 27907000
Whole Body Vibration Treatments in Postmenopausal Women Can Improve Bone Mineral Density: Results of a Stimulus Focussed Meta-Analysis.
Fratini A, Bonci T, Bull AM
School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Whole body vibration treatment is a non-pharmacological intervention intended to stimulate muscular response and increase bone mineral density, particularly for postmenopausal women. The literature related to this topic is controversial, heterogeneous, and unclear despite the prospect of a major clinical effect.
The aim of this study was to identify and systematically review the literature to assess the effect of whole body vibration treatments on bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women with a specific focus on the experimental factors that influence the stimulus.
Nine studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, including 527 postmenopausal women and different vibration delivery designs. Cumulative dose, amplitudes and frequency of treatments as well as subject posture during treatment vary widely among studies. Some of the studies included an associated exercise training regime. Both randomized and controlled clinical trials were included.
Whole body vibration was shown to produce significant BMD improvements on the hip and spine when compared to no intervention. Conversely, treatment associated with exercise training resulted in negligible outcomes when compared to exercise training or to placebo. Moreover, side-alternating platforms were more effective in improving BMD values than synchronous platforms and mechanical oscillations of magnitude higher than 3 g and/or frequency lower than 25 Hz were also found to be effective. Treatments with a cumulative dose over 1000 minutes in the follow-up period were correlated to positive outcomes.
Our conclusion is that whole body vibration treatments in elderly women can reduce BMD decline.However, many factors (e.g., amplitude, frequency and subject posture) affect the capacity of the vibrations to propagate to the target site; the adequate level of stimulation required to produce these effects has not yet been defined. Further biomechanical analyses to predict the propagation of the vibration waves along the body and assess the stimulation levels are required.