Cellular and Humoral Immunological Parameters.

Cell Mol Immunol, 2015; 12(4): 483-92, PMID: 25382740 external link

Effects of 60-day bed rest with and without exercise on cellular and humoral immunological parameters.

Hoff P, Belavy DL, Huscher D, Lang A, Hahne M, Kuhlmey AK, Maschmeyer P, Armbrecht G, Fitzner R, Perschel FH, Gaber T, Burmester GR, Straub RH, Felsenberg D, Buttgereit F
1] Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Berlin, Germany [2] Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum (DRFZ), Berlin, Germany [3] Berlin-Brandenburg Center of Regenerative Therapies (BCRT), Berlin, Germany.


Purpose: Exercise at regular intervals is assumed to have a positive effect on immune functions. Conversely, after spaceflight and under simulated weightlessness (e.g., bed rest), immune functions can be suppressed. We aimed to assess the effects of simulated weightlessness (Second Berlin BedRest Study; BBR2-2) on immunological parameters and to investigate the effect of exercise (resistive exercise with and without vibration) on these changes.

Method: Twenty-four physically and mentally healthy male volunteers (20-45 years) performed resistive vibration exercise (n=7), resistance exercise without vibration (n=8) or no exercise (n=9) within 60 days of bed rest. Blood samples were taken 2 days before bed rest, on days 19 and 60 of bed rest. Composition of immune cells was analyzed by flow cytometry. Cytokines and neuroendocrine parameters were analyzed by Luminex technology and ELISA/RIA in plasma.

General changes over time were identified by paired t-test, and exercise-dependent effects by pairwise repeated measurements (analysis of variance (ANOVA)). With all subjects pooled, the number of granulocytes, natural killer T cells, hematopoietic stem cells and CD45RA and CD25 co-expressing T cells increased and the number of monocytes decreased significantly during the study; the concentration of eotaxin decreased significantly. Different impacts of exercise were seen for lymphocytes, B cells, especially the IgD(+) subpopulation of B cells and the concentrations of IP-10, RANTES and DHEA-S.

Results: We conclude that prolonged bed rest significantly impacts immune cell populations and cytokine concentrations. Exercise was able to specifically influence different immunological parameters.

Conclusion: In summary, our data fit the hypothesis of immunoprotection by exercise and may point toward even superior effects by resistive vibration exercise.

Reduce Muscle Soreness and Enhance Muscle Recovery.

J Phys Ther Sci, 2016; 28(6): 1781-5, PMID: 27390415 external link

Effects of whole-body vibration after eccentric exercise on muscle soreness and muscle strength recovery.

Timon R, Tejero J, Brazo-Sayavera J, Crespo C, Olcina G
Department of Physical Education and Sport, Sport Sciences Faculty, University of Extremadura, Spain.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate whether or not a single whole-body vibration treatment after eccentric exercise can reduce muscle soreness and enhance muscle recovery.

Subjects and Methods: Twenty untrained participants were randomly assigned to two groups: a vibration group (n=10) and control group (n=10). Participants performed eccentric quadriceps training of 4 sets of 5 repetitions at 120% 1RM, with 4 min rest between sets. After that, the vibration group received 3 sets of 1 min whole body vibration (12 Hz, 4 mm) with 30 s of passive recovery between sets. Serum creatine kinase, blood urea nitrogen, muscle soreness (visual analog scale) and muscle strength (peak isometric torque) were assessed.

Results: Creatine kinase was lower in the vibration group than in the control group at 24 h (200.2 +/- 8.2 vs. 300.5 +/- 26.1 U/L) and at 48 h (175.2 +/- 12.5 vs. 285.2 +/- 19.7 U/L) post-exercise. Muscle soreness decreased in vibration group compared to control group at 48 h post-exercise (34.1 +/- 11.4 vs. 65.2 +/- 13.2 mm).

Conclusion: Single whole-body vibration treatment after eccentric exercise reduced delayed onset muscle soreness but it did not affect muscle strength recovery.

Acute Corticospinal and Spinal Modulation

J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact, 2016; 16(4): 327-338, PMID: 27973385 external link

Acute corticospinal and spinal modulation after whole body vibration.

Krause A, Gollhofer A, Freyler K, Jablonka L, Ritzmann R
Department of Sport Science, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to investigate neural effects of acute whole body vibration (WBV) on lower limb muscles regarding corticospinal and spinal excitability.

METHODS: In 44 healthy subjects (16 f/ 28 m), motor evoked potentials (MEP) and H-reflexes in m. soleus (SOL) and gastrocnemius medialis (GM) were elicited before (t1), immediately after (t2), 2 (t3), 4 (t4) and 10 min after (t5) WBV.

RESULTS: After WBV, MEP amplitudes were significantly increased in SOL (t2+15+/-30%, t3+22+/-32%, t4+15+/-35%, t5+20+/-30%, P<0.05), but not in GM (t2+32+/-62%, t3+9+/-35%, t4+8+/-36%, t5+22+/-47%; P=0.07). Contrarily, H-reflexes were significantly reduced in SOL (t2-19+/-28%, t3-21+/-22%, t4-20+/-21%, t5-14+/-28%, P<0.05) and GM (t2-14+/-37%, t3-16+/-25%, t4-18+/-29%, t5-16+/-28%, P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: A temporary sustained enhancement of corticospinal excitability concomitant with spinal inhibition after WBV points towards persisting neural modulation in the central nervous system. This could indicate greater neural modulation over M1 and descending pathways, while the contribution of spinal pathways is reduced.

Improved BMD in Postmenopausal Women

PLoS One, 2016; 11(12): e0166774, PMID: 27907000 external link

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.

Muscle Histology Changes

Acta Myol, 2016; 34(2-3): 133-8, PMID: 27199541 external link

Muscle histology changes after short term vibration training in healthy controls

Schoser B
Friedrich-Baur-Institute, Department of Neurology, Klinikum der Universitat Munchen, Germany.


Purpose: In search for additional counter measures of muscle atrophy vibration exercise training may have substantial effort for patients with neuromuscular disorders. To cover safety aspects and obtain muscle morphology data, a pilot study was performed in eleven healthy men.

Method: Countermovement jump, squat jump, drop jump and one repetition maximum test (1RM) were performed on a force platform before and after a 6 week training period. No severe side effects were found.

Results: Repeated needle muscle biopsies of the vastus lateralis muscle revealed a selective pre- to post-training type-2 myofiber hypertrophy of up to 50 %. The hypertrophy factors were 160 and 310, for type-2 myofibers. The mechanography system showed a significant increase in the 1RM maximum weight lifted (pre: 111,8 kg +/- 11,5; post: 140,9 kg +/- 13,00; p < 0,001).

Conclusion: Vibration exercise is a safe and effective technique which desires further approval as counter measure in different types of neuromuscular atrophy.

Prevent ICU – Acquired Weakness

Critical Care, DOI 10.1186, 2017; 21/9: 1-10

Whole-body vibration to prevent intensive care unit-acquired weakness: safety, feasibility, and metabolic response

Wollersheim T, Haas K, Wolf S, Mai K, Spies C, Steinhagen-Thiessen E, Wernecke KD, Spranger J, Weber-Carstens S
Department of Anesthesiology and Operative Intensive Care Medicine, Campus Virchow Klinikum and Campus Mitte, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, Berlin 13353, Germany Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), Berlin 13353, Germany

Background:  Intensive care unit (ICU)-acquired weakness in critically ill patients is a common and significant complication affecting the course of critical illness. Whole-body vibration is known to be effective muscle training and may be an option in diminishing weakness and muscle wasting. Especially, patients who are immobilized and not available for active physiotherapy may benefit. Until now whole-body vibration was not investigated in mechanically ventilated ICU patients. We investigated the safety, feasibility, and metabolic response of whole-body vibration in critically ill patients.

Methods: We investigated 19 mechanically ventilated, immobilized ICU patients. Passive range of motion was performed prior to whole-body vibration therapy held in the supine position for 15 minutes. Continuous monitoring of vital signs, hemodynamics, and energy metabolism, as well as intermittent blood sampling, took place from the start of baseline measurements up to 1 hour post intervention. We performed comparative longitudinal analysis of the phases before, during, and after intervention.

Results:  Vital signs and hemodynamic parameters remained stable with only minor changes resulting from the intervention. No application had to be interrupted. We did not observe any adverse event. Whole-body vibration did not significantly and/or clinically change vital signs and hemodynamics. A significant increase in energy expenditure during whole-body vibration could be observed.

Conclusions:  In our study the application of whole-body vibration was safe and feasible. The technique leads to increased energy expenditure. This may offer the chance to treat patients in the ICU with whole-body vibration. Further investigations should focus on the efficacy of whole-body vibration in the prevention of ICU-acquired weakness.

3 Weeks of WBV Improved Ankle JPS & Gait Variables

Physiother Can, 2016; 68(2): 99-105, PMID: 27909356 external link

Effects of Three Weeks of Whole-Body Vibration Training on Joint-Position Sense, Balance, and Gait in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Randomized Controlled Study.

Ko MS, Sim YJ, Kim DH, Jeon HS
Department of Physical Therapy, The Graduate School, Yonsei University; Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health and Welfare, Woosong University, Daejeon.


Purpose: To observe the effects of whole-body vibration (WBV) training in conjunction with conventional physical therapy (PT) on joint-position sense (JPS), balance, and gait in children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Methods: In this randomized controlled study, 24 children with CP were randomly selected either to continue their conventional PT or to receive WBV in conjunction with their conventional PT programme. Exposure to the intervention was intermittent (3 min WBV, 3 min rest) for 20 minutes, twice weekly for 3 weeks. JPS, balance, and gait were evaluated before and after treatment.

Results: Ankle JPS was improved after 3 weeks of WBV training (p=0.014). Participants in the WBV group showed greater improvements in speed (F1,21=5.221, p=0.035) and step width (F1,21=4.487, p=0.039) than participants in the conventional PT group.

Conclusion: Three weeks of WBV training was effective in improving ankle JPS and gait variables in children with CP.

Balance and Gait Function after Stroke

J Phys Ther Sci, 2016; 28(11): 3149-3152, PMID: 27942138 external link

The effects of visual control whole body vibration exercise on balance and gait function of stroke patients.

Choi ET, Kim YN, Cho WS, Lee DK
Department of Physical Therapy, Graduate School of Nambu University, Republic of Korea.


Purpose: This study aims to verify the effects of visual control whole body vibration exercise on balance and gait function of stroke patients.

Subjects and Methods: A total of 22 stroke patients were randomly assigned to two groups; 11 to the experimental group and 11 to the control group. Both groups received 30 minutes of Neuro-developmental treatment 5 times per week for 4 weeks. The experimental group additionally performed 10 minutes of visual control whole body vibration exercise 5 times per week during the 4 weeks. Balance was measured using the Functional Reach Test. Gait was measured using the Timed Up and Go Test.

Results: An in-group comparison in the experimental group showed significant differences in the Functional Reach Test and Timed Up and Go Test. In comparing the groups, the Functional Reach Test and Timed Up and Go Test of the experimental group were more significantly different compared to the control group.

Conclusion: These results suggest that visual control whole body vibration exercise has a positive effect on the balance and gait function of stroke patients.

Galileo Improves Exercise Capacity in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Heart, 2017; (): , PMID: 28100544 external link

Oscillatory whole-body vibration improves exercise capacity and physical performance in pulmonary arterial hypertension: a randomised clinical study.

Gerhardt F, Dumitrescu D, Gartner C, Beccard R, Viethen T, Kramer T, Baldus S, Hellmich M, Schonau E, Rosenkranz S
Klinik III fur Innere Medizin, Herzzentrum der Universitat zu Koln, Cologne, Germany.


OBJECTIVE: In patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), supportive therapies may be beneficial in addition to targeted medical treatment. Here, we evaluated the effectiveness and safety of oscillatory whole-body vibration (WBV) in patients on stable PAH therapy.

METHODS: Twenty-two patients with PAH (mean PAP>/=25 mm Hg and pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (PAWP)</=15 mm Hg) who were in world health organization (WHO)-Functional Class II or III and on stable PAH therapy for>/=3 months, were randomised to receive WBV (16 sessions of 1-hour duration within 4 weeks) or to a control group, that subsequently received WBV. Follow-up measures included the 6-min walking distance (6MWD), cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), echocardiography, muscle-power, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL; SF-36 and LPH questionnaires).

RESULTS: When compared to the control group, patients receiving WBV exhibited a significant improvement in the primary endpoint, the 6MWD (+35.4+/-10.9 vs -4.4+/-7.6 m), resulting in a net benefit of 39.7+/-7.8 m (p=0.004). WBV was also associated with substantial improvements in CPET variables, muscle power, and HRQoL. The combined analysis of all patients (n=22) indicated significant net improvements versus baseline in the 6MWD (+38.6 m), peakVO2 (+65.7 mL/min), anaerobic threshold (+40.9 mL VO2/min), muscle power (+4.4%), and HRQoL (SF-36 +9.7, LPH -11.5 points) (all p<0.05). WBV was well tolerated in all patients, and no procedure-related severe adverse events (SAEs) occurred.

CONCLUSIONS: WBV substantially improves exercise capacity, physical performance, and HRQoL in patients with PAH who are on stable targeted therapy. This methodology may be utilised in structured training programmes, and may be feasible for continuous long-term physical exercise in these patients. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT01763112; Results.

Res Gerontol Nurs, 2017; 10(1): 17-24, PMID: 28112354 external link

Muscle Mechanography: A Novel Method to Measure Muscle Function in Older Adults.

Taani MH, Kovach CR, Buehring B


Muscle function decline is a commonly observed process that occurs with aging. Low muscle function, an essential component of sarcopenia, is associated with negative outcomes, including falls, fractures, and dependency. Although many tools have been developed and are used to assess muscle function in older adults, most have important limitations.

Muscle mechanography is a novel method that can quantitatively assess muscle function by performing movements such as heel raises, chair rises, or jumps on a ground reaction force plate. It can also assess balance by measuring sway of the center of pressure.

Muscle mechanography promises to have advantages over currently used tools, appears to have better reproducibility, and can assess a broader range of physical function-from master athletes to frail individuals.

Older adults can safely perform muscle mechanography measurements. Further research is needed to determine whether muscle mechanography can predict outcomes such as falls, fractures, and mortality. [Res Gerontol Nurs. 2017; 10(1):17-24.].

Chemotherapy-related Peripheral Neuropathy

Exp Hematol Oncol, 2017; 6(): 5, PMID: 28194306 external link

A randomized exploratory phase 2 study in patients with chemotherapy-related peripheral neuropathy evaluating whole-body vibration training as adjunct to an integrated program including massage, passive mobilization and physical exercises.

Schonsteiner SS, Bauder Missbach H, Benner A, Mack S, Hamel T, Orth M, Landwehrmeyer B, Sussmuth SD, Geitner C, Mayer-Steinacker R, Riester A, Prokein A, Erhardt E, Kunecki J, Eisenschink AM, Rawer R, Dohner H, Kirchner E, Schlenk RF
grid.410712.1Department of Internal Medicine III, University Hospital Ulm, Albert Einstein Allee 23, 89081 Ulm, Germany.


BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy-induced polyneuropathy (CIPN) is a common toxicity after chemotherapy, immunomodulatory drugs or proteasome inhibitors, which is difficult to treat and may also have impact on quality of life. The objective of the study was to evaluate whole-body vibration (WBV) on the background of an integrated program (IP) including massage, passive mobilization and physical exercises on CIPN.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: In an exploratory phase-2 study patients with CIPN (NCI CTC grade 2/3) were randomized for WBV plus IP (experimental) to IP alone (standard). 15 training sessions within 15 weeks were intended. As primary endpoint we used chair-rising test (CRT) to assess physical fitness and coordination. In addition, locomotor and neurological tests and self-assessment tools were performed.

RESULTS: A total 131 patients with CIPN were randomized (standard, n = 65; experimental, n = 66). The median age was 60 (range 24-71) years; 44 patients had haematological neoplasms and 87 solid tumors. At baseline, all patients presented with an abnormal CRT. Fifteen (standard) and 22 (experimental) patients left the program due to progression/relapse or concomitant disease. There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients with normal CRT (<10 s) at follow up between experimental (68%) and standard (56%) (p = 0.20). All patients experienced less symptoms and pain (p < 0.001) and had improved CRT (p < 0.001) over time. WBV was significantly associated with a higher reduction of time needed for CRT (p = 0.02) and significantly improved warm-detection-threshold comparing baseline to follow-up assessment (p = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: Whole-body vibration on the background of an IP may improve physical fitness and coordination in patients suffering from CIPN. Trial registration Retrospectively registered at http://www.iscrtn.com (ISRCTN 51361937) and http://www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02846844).

Cardiopulmonary response during severe COPD

ERJ Open Res, 2017; 3:00101-2016:

Cardiopulmonary response during whole-body vibration training in patients with severe COPD

Gloeckl R, Richter P, Winterkamp S, et al.
Dept of Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Schoen Klinik Berchtesgadener Land, Schoenau am Koenigssee, Germany. 2Dept of Prevention, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Muni


Background: Several studies in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have shown
that whole-body vibration training (WBVT) has beneficial effects on exercise capacity. However, the acute cardiopulmonary demand during WBVT remains unknown and was therefore investigated in this study.

Method: Ten patients with severe COPD (forced expiratory volume in 1 s: 38}8% predicted) were examined on two consecutive days. On day one, symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise testing was performed on a cycle ergometer. The next day, six bouts of repeated squat exercises were performed in random order for one, two or three minutes either with or without WBVT while metabolic demands were simultaneously measured.

Results: Squat exercises with or without WBVT induced comparable ventilatory efficiency (minute ventilation (VE)/carbon dioxide production (VŒCO2): 38.0}4.4 with WBVT versus 37.4}4.1 without, p=0.236). Oxygen uptake after 3 min of squat exercises increased from 339}40 mLEmin.1 to 1060}160 mLEmin.1 with WBVT and 988}124 mL min.1 without WBV (p=0.093). However, there were no significant differences between squat exercises with and without WBVT in oxygen saturation (90}4% versus 90}4%, p=0.068), heart rate (109}13 bpm versus 110}15 bpm, p=0.513) or dyspnoea (Borg scale 5}2 versus 5}2, p=0.279).

Conclusion: Combining squat exercises with WBVT induced a similar cardiopulmonary response in patients with severe COPD compared to squat exercises without WBVT. Bearing in mind the small sample size, WBVT might be a feasible and safe exercise modality even in patients with severe COPD.

Benefits of WBV with COPD

Respiratory Medicine, 2017; 126: 17-24

What’s the secret behind the benefits of whole-body vibration training in patients with COPD? A randomized, controlled trial

Gloeckl R, Jarosch I, Bengschc U, Claus M, Schneeberger T, Andrianopoulos V, Christle JW, Hitzl W, Kenn K
a Department of Respiratory Medicine & Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Schoen Klinik Berchtesgadener Land, Schoenau am Koenigssee, Germany b Department of Prevention, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich

Background:  Several studies have shown that whole-body vibration training (WBVT) improves exercise capacity in patients with severe COPD. The aim of this study was to investigate the determinants of improved exercise capacity following WBVT.

Methods:  Seventy-four COPD patients (FEV1: 34 ± 9%predicted) were recruited during a 3-week inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) program. Conventional endurance and strength exercises were supplemented with self-paced dynamic squat training sessions (4bouts*2min, 3times/wk). Patients were randomly allocated to either a WBVT-group performing squat training on a side-alternating vibration platform (Galileo) at a high intensity (24–26 Hz) or a control group performing squat training without WBVT.

Results:  Patients in the WBVT group significantly improved postural balance in several domains compared to the control-group (i.e. tandem stance: WBVT +20% (95%CI 14 to 26) vs. control -10% (95%CI 6 to 15), p < 0.001; one-leg stance: WBVT +11% (95%CI 4 to 19) vs. control -8% (95%CI -19 to 3), p = 0.009). Six-minute walk distance and muscle power but not muscle strength were also significantly improved compared to control group.

Conclusions:  Implementation of WBVT improves postural balance performance and muscle power output. The neuromuscular adaptation related to improved balance performance may be an important mechanism of the improvement in exercise capacity after WBVT especially in COPD patients with impaired balance performance and low exercise capacity.

Galileo-Training helps MS

J Neurol Sci. 2016 Oct 15;369:96-101. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2016.08.013. Epub 2016 Aug 5

 Vibration training improves disability status in multiple sclerosis: A pretest-posttest pilot study.

Yang F1, Estrada EF2, Sanchez MC2.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an 8-week vibration training program on changing the disability level in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Twenty-five adults with clinically-confirmed MS underwent an 8-week vibration training on a side-alternating vibration platform. The vibration frequency and peak-to-peak displacement were set at 20Hz and 2.6mm, respectively. Prior to and following the training course, the disability status was assessed for all participants characterized by the Patient Determined Disability Steps (PDDS) and MS Functional Composite (MSFC) scores.

The training program significantly improved the PDDS (3.66±1.88 vs. 3.05±1.99, p=0.009) and the MSFC scores (0.00±0.62 vs 0.36±0.68, p<0.0001). All three MSFC components were improved: lower extremity function (9.37±4.92 vs. 8.13±4.08s, p=0.011), upper extremity function (dominant hand: 27.81±5.96 vs. 26.20±5.82s, p=0.053; non-dominant hand: 28.47±7.40 vs. 27.43±8.33s, p=0.059), and cognitive function (30.55±13.54 vs. 36.95±15.07 points, p=0.004).

Our findings suggested that vibration training could be a promising alternative modality to reduce the disability level among people with MS.


Mobility; Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite; Patient Determined Disability Status; Side-alternating vibration Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 27653872 DOI: 10.1016/j.jns.2016.08.013


Galileo Training and Exercise Enhance Motor Function

Whole body vibration therapy with exercise enhances motor function and improves quality of life in Parkinson’s disease

Thursday, June 23, 2016

O.K. Gruder, D.Y. Edmonston, G.Q. Barr, C.G. Maitland (Tallahassee, FL, USA); Meeting: 20th International Congress;

Abstract Number: 2021

Objective: To evaluate the short term effects of whole body vibration and exercise in patients with Parkinson’s disease on overall quality of life, gait, tremor, and postural instability using the GAITRite®System (CRI Systems Incorporated), Unified Parkinson’s disease Rating Scale (UPDRS parts 2,3), Beck Depression Inventory, Fatigue Symptom Inventory (FSI), and Healthy Days Measure (HRQOL-14).

Background: Pharmacologic intervention is the current standard of care for Parkinson’s disease (PD), yet medications frequently fail to control some symptoms, including tremor and postural instability, which degrade functional performance and quality of life. Non-pharmacological treatments, including Whole Body Vibration (WBV) and exercise therapy may reduce these symptoms. We combined basic exercise therapy with WBV in a six-week treatment regimen in order to evaluate their effect on symptoms and signs of PD, with careful attention to postural stability, gait, as well as quality of life measures.

Methods: 15 participants diagnosed with PD (stages 1-4) underwent 12 sessions of WBV combined with exercise therapy over 6 weeks.

Patients’ Demographics and Characteristics
Participant No. Gender Age (Years) Previous Level of Physical Activity* Pertinent PmHx** H & Y Staging (UPDRS Motor Score)
P01 F 74 Sedentary Titanium rod in left femur, spinal stenosis 1-3
P02 M 79 Sedentary Total knee replacement in right knee 4
P03 M 79 Moderate Physical Activity 1-3
P04 F 72 Sedentary 4
P05 M 69 Moderate Physical Activity 1-3
P06 M 83 Sedentary 1-3
P07 F 75 Moderate Physical Activity 1-3
P08 F Moderate Physical Activity 1-3
P09 F 66 Vigorous Physical Activity Previously broken left foot 1-3
P10 F 59 Sedentary Untreated torn rotator cuff, osteoporosis, sciatica 1-3
P11 F Sedentary Arthritic right knee 1-3
P12 M 77 Moderate Physical Activity 1-3
P13 M 79 Moderate Physical Activity Chronic neck and back pain 1-3
P14 F 69 Sedentary Arthritic right knee 1-3
P15 F 77 Moderate Physical Activity 1-3
P16 M Sedentary Compound vertebral fracture, valve replacement 4
P17 F 58 Moderate Physical Activity 1-3

*Level of physical activity were determined using CDC and ACSM guidelines **All surgeries, replacements were at least 6 months prior to enrolling in the study“. The WBV training included a lower body exercise regimen performed on a vibratory platform.

WBV and Exercise Regimen
Week Number Session Numbers Exercises Duration (Seconds) Frequency (Seconds[macr]1)
1 1,2 Squats and lunges (static and dynamic), tandem stance (twice on each side) 30 25
2 3,4 Squats, lunges and calf raises (static and dynamic), tandem stance (twice on each side) 45 25
3 5,6 Squats, lunges and calf raises (static and dynamic), tandem stance (twice on each side) 45 30
4 7,8 Squats, lunges and calf raises (static and dynamic), tandem stance (twice on each side) 60 30
5 9,10 Squats, lunges and calf raises (static and dynamic), tandem stance (twice on each side) 60 35
6 11,12 Squats, lunges and calf raises (static and dynamic), tandem stance (twice on each side) 60 35

Baseline measurements and 2 follow up data collection sessions (1 and 4 days after the final session) included an evaluation of gait via the GAITRite®System, UPDRS parts 2,3, Beck Depression Inventory, FSI, and HRQOL-14.

Results: A one-way repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to determine differences between baseline and both post-interventional examinations in all measured parameters. UPDRS scores decreased on average from 29.53(baseline) to 18.00(1 day post-intervention) and 17.53 (4 days post intervention), p<0.001. Both part 2 and 3 of the UPDRS showed statistically significant improvement.



Statistically significant improvement in both post-interventional examination for gait velocity, cadence, and double support time was also observed. No significant difference was observed for FSI, Beck Depression,

Conclusions: WBV combined with exercise therapy has significant effect on motoric performance, ADL related symptoms, and postural stability. This therapy has significant short-term effects.

To cite this abstract in AMA style:

O.K. Gruder, D.Y. Edmonston, G.Q. Barr, C.G. Maitland. Whole body vibration therapy with exercise enhances motor function and improves quality of life in Parkinson’s disease [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2016; 31 (suppl 2). http://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/whole-body-vibration-therapy-with-exercise-enhances-motor-function-and-improves-quality-of-life-in-parkinsons-disease/. Accessed September 30, 2016.


Complications after a stroke affect not only individual muscles, but also their interaction, which is critical for posture and movement. In addition the loss of muscle strength and muscle power causes an altered perception of the body. Movements and muscle tone are disrupted, with little to no control over partial movement. Using Galileo the muscles can be trained and spasticity and muscle tone can effectively be controlled. Due to the high number of repetitions during Galileo Training residual functions are rapidly activated.

Condition Effects:

  • Improvement in chair rising test
  • Maintaining and improvement in muscle power and coordination
  • Improvement of posture and movement control
  • Faster activation of residual functions
  • Improvement in coordination and agility
  • Improvement in proprioception
  • Restoration of body symmetry by rhythmic right / left movement of the training platform
  • Improvement in balance reactions and response time, resulting in fall prevention
  • Prevention of immobility-related damage

Studies – Stroke

Galileo – Study Shows CP Improvement

A new clinical trial shows that adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy (CP) enjoy stronger bones and greater mobility after training on a specialized vibration plate.

Researchers at the University of Auckland (New Zealand) and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (Sydney, Australia) conducted a clinical trial in 40 participants (11.3–20.8 years of age) with mild to moderate CP to study whole-body vibration training (WBVT) effects on muscle function and bone health. Study participants underwent 20-week WBVT on a vibration plate for 9 minutes a day, 4 times a week. Assessment measures included a six-minute walk test, whole-body dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), lower leg peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) scans, and muscle function.
Dr. Silmara Gusso and the WBVT plate (Photo courtesy of the University of Auckland).
The patients stood barefoot on a special vibration plate that produced a see-saw movement, stimulating a movement similar to walking. The results showed that the 20 weeks of WBVT were associated with increased lean mass in the total body, trunk, and lower limbs. Bone mineral content and density also increased in the total body, the lumbar spine, and the lower limbs. Participants also improved the distance walked in the 6-minute walk test by 11 to 35%. The study was published on March 3, 2016, in Scientific Reports.

“We expected them to increase their bone mass and muscle mass, which is what happened. What we didn’t expect was that their day-to-day functioning would also improve,” said lead author Silmara Gusso, PhD. “The feedback from parents and caregivers about the changes they were noticing was especially encouraging: improved mood, greater maneuverability, and fewer falls. In a group with troublesome constipation vibration therapy was also unexpectedly beneficial.”

CP is the most common cause of physical disability in childhood, affecting two of 1,000 children, and usually appears at birth or in early infancy. Children with CP have impaired muscle function, reduced muscle and bone mass, and a higher-than-normal risk of bone fractures. Muscles that normally work in complementary action will simultaneously go into spasm, making movement difficult, and over time the muscles waste. Treatments to relieve the disorders’ effects are limited, and include botox injection, surgery, passive stretching, and injection of bisphosphonates to increase bone density.


WBV on physical function, bone and muscle mass in adolescents with CP

Sci Rep. 2016 Mar 3;6:22518. doi: 10.1038/srep22518.

Effects of whole-body vibration training on physical function, bone and muscle mass in adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy.

Gusso S1, Munns CF2, Colle P1, Derraik JG1, Biggs JB1, Cutfield WS1, Hofman PL1.


Objective:  We performed a clinical trial on the effects of whole-body vibration training (WBVT) on muscle function and bone health of adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy.

Participants:  Forty participants (11.3-20.8 years) with mild to moderate cerebral palsy (GMFCS II-III)

Methods:  Underwent 20-week WBVT on a vibration plate for 9 minutes/day 4 times/week at 20 Hz (without controls).  Assessments included 6-minute walk test, whole-body DXA, lower leg pQCT scans, and muscle function (force plate).

Results:  Twenty weeks of WBVT were associated with increased lean mass in the total body (+770 g; p = 0.0003), trunk (+410 g; p = 0.004), and lower limbs (+240 g; p = 0.012). Bone mineral content increased in total body (+48 g; p = 0.0001), lumbar spine (+2.7 g; p = 0.0003), and lower limbs (+13 g; p < 0.0001). Similarly, bone mineral density increased in total body (+0.008 g/cm(2); p = 0.013), lumbar spine (+0.014 g/cm(2); p = 0.003), and lower limbs (+0.023 g/cm(2); p < 0.0001). Participants reduced the time taken to perform the chair test, and improved the distance walked in the 6-minute walk test by 11% and 35% for those with GMFCS II and III, respectively.

Conclusion:  WBVT was associated with increases in muscle mass and bone mass and density, and improved mobility of adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy.

SUMMARY STUDY:   In a group of 40 patients with cerebral palsy whole body vibration training improved time for chair rising test, and the distance in 6 min walking test by 11 and 35% respectively. Improvements were also found in muscle mass, bone mass and density and mobility.

Galileo in ICU

J Rehabil Med.
 2016 Mar 1;48(3):316-21. doi: 10.2340/16501977-2052.

Whole-body vibration therapy in intensive care patients: A feasibility and safety study.

Boeselt T1, Nell C, Kehr K, Holland A, Dresel M, Greulich T, Tackenberg B, Kenn K, Boeder J, Klapdor B, Kirschbaum A, Vogelmeier C, Alter P, Koczulla R.



Admission to the intensive care unit is associated with sustained loss of muscle mass, reduced quality of life and increased mortality. Early rehabilitation measures may counteract this process. New approaches to rehabilitation while the patient remains in bed are whole-body vibration alone and whole-body vibration with a dumbbell. The aims of this study are to determine the safety of whole-body vibration for patientsadmitted to the intensive care unit, and to compare the effects of these techniques in intensive care unit patients and healthy subjects.



Twelve intensive care unit patients and 12 healthy subjects using whole-body vibration for the first time were examined while lying in bed. First both groups performed whole body vibration over 3 min. In a second step whole body vibration with dumbbell was performed. In order to determine the safety of the training intensity, heart rate, oxygen saturation and blood pressure were measured. The study was approved by the Marburg ethics committee.


There were minor reversible and transient increases in diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.005) and heart rate (p = 0.001) in the control group with whole-body vibration with a dumbbell. In intensive care patients receiving whole-body vibration alone, there were increases in diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.011) and heart rate (p < 0.001).


This study demonstrates the feasibility of using whole-body vibration and whole-body vibration with a dumbbell for intensive care unit in-bed patients. No clinically significant safety problems were found. Whole-body vibration and whole-body vibration with a dumbbell might therefore be alternative methods for use in early in-bed rehabilitation, not only for hospitalized patients.

PMID: 26805786

WBV on UE Spasticity and Grip Strength with Post Stroke

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 Jan 29.

Short-Term Effects of Whole-Body Vibration Combined with Task-Related Training on Upper Extremity Function, Spasticity, and Grip Strength in Subjects with Poststroke Hemiplegia: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

Lee JS1, Kim CY, Kim HD.


OBJECTIVE:   The aim of this study was to determine the effect of whole-body vibration training combined with task-related training on arm function, spasticity, and grip strength in subjects with poststroke hemiplegia.

DESIGN:  Forty-five subjects with post stroke were randomly allocated to 3 groups, each with 15 subjects as follows: control group, whole-body vibration group, and whole-body vibration plus task-related training group. Outcome was evaluated by clinical evaluation and measurements of the grip strength before and 4 weeks after intervention.

RESULTS:  Our results show that there was a significantly greater increase in the Fugl-Meyer scale, maximal grip strength of the affected hand, and grip strength normalized to the less affected hand in subjects undergoing the whole-body vibration training compared with the control group after the test. Furthermore, there was a significantly greater increase in the Wolf motor function test and a decrease in the modified Ashworth spasticity total scores in subjects who underwent whole-body vibration plus task-related training compared with those in the other 2 groups after the test.

CONCLUSIONS:  The findings indicate that the use of whole-body vibration training combined with task-related training has more benefits on the improvement of arm function, spasticity, and maximal grip strength than conventional upper limb training alone or with whole-body vibration in people with poststroke hemiplegia.

SUMMARY STUDY:   The study was performed in 45 subjects after stroke. Improvements were found in grip strength, spasticity, and arm function as determined in the Fugl-Mayer scale, the Ashworth scale and Wolf motor function test in the group with whole body vibration combined with task related arm training.

Figure 1

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Performance of GMFCS II participants in the 6-minute walk test prior to (red) and after (blue) 20 weeks of whole-body vibration training.

Note that 34 participants started the tests, but only 21 and 22 reached the 400-metre mark at baseline and post-training, respectively. Data are means ± standard errors of the mean. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, and ****p < 0.0001 for baseline vs post-training.

Figure 2

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Performance of GMFCS III participants in the 6-minute walk test prior to (red) and after (blue) 20 weeks of whole-body vibration training.

Six subjects started the tests, and the number of participants reaching a particular milestone is shown in the figure. Data are means ± standard errors of the mean. *p < 0.05 for baseline vs post-training.

Low-Magnitude Vibration Has No Effect

J Bone Miner Res. 2015 Jul;30(7):1319-28. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2448.

Low-Magnitude Mechanical Stimulation to Improve Bone Density in Persons of Advanced Age: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

Kiel DP, Hannan MT, Barton BA, Bouxsein ML, Sisson E, Lang T, Allaire B, Dewkett D, Carroll D, Magaziner J, Shane E, Leary ET, Zimmerman S, Rubin CT.


Nonpharmacologic approaches to preserve or increase bone mineral density (BMD) include whole-body vibration (WBV), but its efficacy in elderly persons is not clear. Therefore, we conducted the Vibration to Improve Bone in Elderly Subjects (VIBES) trial, a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 10 minutes of daily WBV (0.3g at 37 Hz) in seniors recruited from 16 independent living communities. The primary outcomes were volumetric BMD of the hip and spine measured by quantitative computed tomography (QCT) and biochemical markers of bone turnover. We randomized 174 men and women (89 active, 85 placebo) with T-scores -1 to -2.5 who were not taking bone active drugs and had no diseases affecting the skeleton (mean age 82 ± 7 years, range 65 to 102). Participants received daily calcium (1000 mg) and vitamin D (800 IU). Study platforms were activated using radio frequency ID cards providing electronic adherence monitoring; placebo platforms resembled the active platforms. In total, 61% of participants in the active arm and 73% in the placebo arm completed 24 months. The primary outcomes, median percent changes (interquartile range [IQR]) in total volumetric femoral trabecular BMD (active group (2.2% [-0.8%, 5.2%]) versus placebo 0.4% [-4.8%, 5.0%]) and in mid-vertebral trabecular BMD of L1 and L2 (active group (5.3% [-6.9%, 13.3%]) versus placebo (2.4% [-4.4%, 11.1%]), did not differ between groups (all p values > 0.1). Changes in biochemical markers of bone turnover (P1NP and sCTX) also were not different between groups (p = 0.19 and p = 0.97, respectively). In conclusion, this placebo-controlled randomized trial of daily WBV in older adults did not demonstrate evidence of significant beneficial effects on volumetric BMD or bone biomarkers; however, the high variability in vBMD changes limited our power to detect small treatment effects. The beneficial effects of WBV observed in previous studies of younger women may not occur to the same extent in elderly individuals.

Reduces Risk of Falls for Older Adults

J Biomech. 2015 Sep 18;48(12):3206-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.06.029. Epub 2015 Jul 6.

Controlled whole-body vibration training reduces risk of falls among community-dwelling older adults.

Yang F1, King GA2, Dillon L3, Su X4.


Purpose:  The primary purpose of this study was to systematically examine the effects of an 8-week controlled whole-body vibration training on reducing the risk of falls among community-dwelling adults.

Methods:  Eighteen healthy elderlies received vibration training which was delivered on a side alternating vibration platform in an intermittent way: five repetitions of 1 min vibration followed by a 1 min rest. The vibration frequency and amplitude were 20 Hz and 3.0mm respectively. The same training was repeated 3 times a week, and the entire training lasted for 8 weeks for a total of 24 training sessions. Immediately prior to (or pre-training) and following (or post-training) the 8-week training course, all participants’ risk of falls were evaluated in terms of body balance, functional mobility, muscle strength and power, bone density, range of motion at lower limb joints, foot cutaneous sensation level, and fear of falling.

Results:  Our results revealed that the training was able to improve all fall risk factors examined with moderate to large effect sizes ranging between 0.55 and 1.26. The important findings of this study were that an 8-week vibration training could significantly increase the range of motion of ankle joints on the sagittal plane (6.4° at pre-training evaluation vs. 9.6° at post-training evaluation for dorsiflexion and 45.8° vs. 51.9° for plantar-flexion, p<0.05 for both); reduce the sensation threshold of the foot plantar surface (p<0.05); and lower the fear of falling (12.2 vs. 10.8, p<0.05).

Conclusion:  These findings could provide guidance to design optimal whole-body vibration training paradigm for fall prevention among older adults.

PMID: 26189095

Keywords: Cutaneous sensation; Fall prevention; Fear of falling; Hip fracture; Physical medicine; Range of motion; Side-alternating vibration

Galileo: Potential Non-pharmacological Therapy for Diabetes

J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2014 Jul;8(4):889-94. doi: 10.1177/1932296814536289. Epub 2014 May 21

The Effect of Whole Body Vibration on Skin Blood Flow and Nitric Oxide Production

Paula K. Johnson, MS; J. Brent Feland, PT, PhD; A. Wayne Johnson, PT, PhD; Gary W. Mack, PhD; Ulrike H. Mitchell, PT, PhD

Department of Exercise Sciences Brigham Young University, Provo, UT


Background: Vascular dysfunction due to hyperglycemia in individuals with diabetes is a
factor contributing to distal symmetric polyneuropathy (DSP). Reactive oxygen species (ROS)
reduce the bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO), a powerful vasodilator, resulting in reduced
circulation and nerve ischemia. Increases in blood NO concentrations and circulation have been
attributed to whole body vibration (WBV).

The purpose of this study was to the determine the effects of low frequency, low amplitude WBV on whole blood NO concentration and skin blood flow (SBF) in individuals with symptoms of DSP.

Research Design and Methods: Ten subjects with diabetes and impaired sensory
perception in the lower limbs participated in this cross-over study. Each submitted to two
treatment conditions, WBV and sham, with a one week washout period between. Blood draws
for NO analysis and Doppler laser image scans of SBF were performed before, immediately after and following a 5 minute recovery of each the treatments.

Mean Skin Blood Flow

Mean Skin Blood Flow

Results: Low frequency, low amplitude WBV vibration significantly increased skin blood
flow compared to the sham condition (F2,18=5.82, p=0.0115). Whole blood nitric oxide
concentrations did not differ between the WBV and sham condition immediately or 5 minutes
post-treatment (F2,18=1.88, p=0.1813)

Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that subjects with diabetes respond to whole
body vibration with increased skin blood flow compared to sham condition. The implication is
that WBV is a potential non-pharmacological therapy for neurovascular complications of


ACL rehabilitation time cut 50% with Galileo

J Sports Sci Med, 2014; 13(3): 580-9, PMID: 25177185 external link

Whole Body Vibration Exercise Protocol versus a Standard Exercise Protocol after ACL Reconstruction:

A Clinical Randomized Controlled Trial with Short Term Follow-Up.

Berschin G, Sommer B, Behrens A, Sommer HM
Department of Sports Science and Motology, Philipps-University Marburg , Marburg, Germany.


The suitability and effectiveness of whole body vibration (WBV) exercise in rehabilitation after injury of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) was studied using a specially designed WBV protocol. We wanted to test the hypothesis if WBV leads to superior short term results regarding neuromuscular performance (strength and coordination) and would be less time consuming than a current standard muscle strengthening protocol. In this prospective randomized controlled clinical trial, forty patients who tore their ACL and underwent subsequent ligament reconstruction were enrolled. Patients were randomized to the whole body vibration (n=20) or standard rehabilitation exercise protocol (n=20). Both protocols started in the 2(nd) week after surgery. Isometric and isokinetic strength measurements, clinical assessment, Lysholm score, neuromuscular performance were conducted weeks 2, 5, 8 and 11 after surgery. Time spent for rehabilitation exercise was reduced to less than a half in the WBV group. There were no statistically significant differences in terms of clinical assessment, Lysholm score, isokinetic and isometric strength. The WBV group displayed significant better results in the stability test.

In conclusion, preliminary data indicate that our whole body vibration muscle exercise protocol seems to be a good alternative to a standard exercise program in ACL-rehabilitation. Despite of its significant reduced time requirement it is at least equally effective compared to a standard rehabilitation protocol.

Key points In this prospective randomized controlled clinical trial, we tested the hypothesis if WBV leads to superior short term results regarding neuromuscular performance (strength and coordination) and would be less time consuming than a current standard muscle strengthening protocol in forty patients who underwent ACL reconstruction.

Patient standing on the WBV platform in week 11 after surgery performing exercise in the preconditioned body posture with additional load.

Patient standing on the WBV platform in week 11 after surgery performing exercise in the preconditioned body posture with additional load.

Time spent for rehabilitation exercise was reduced to less than a half in the WBV group as compared to the standard exercise group. Both protocols showed no differences regarding clinical assessment, Lysholm score, isokinetic and isometric strength. Despite a more than 50% reduction in time spent for exercise sessions, the WBV group achieved significant better results in the stability test.

In conclusion, the presented WBV program can be considered as a practical alternative to a standard exercise program during ACL-rehabilitation.

Doc-ID: 3623

Whole body vibration training in patients with COPD: A systematic review.

Chron Respir Dis, 2015; (): , PMID: 25904085 external link

Gloeckl R, Heinzelmann I, Kenn K
Department of Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Schoen Klinik Berchtesgadener Land, Schoenau am Koenigssee, Germany rainer.gloeckl@gmx.de.


In recent years, several studies have shown that whole body vibration training (WBVT) may be a beneficial training mode in a variety of chronic diseases and conditions such as osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, or chronic low back pain. However, a systematic review on the effects of WBVT in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not been performed yet.

An extensive literature search was performed using various electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, LILACS, and PEDro). They were searched from inception until September 20, 2014, using key words like “COPD” and “whole body vibration training.” A total of 91 studies could be identified and were screened for relevance by two independent reviewers. Six studies were included in a qualitative analysis.

Trials studied either the effects of WBVT versus an inactive control group, versus sham WBVT, during an acute COPD exacerbation or as a modality on top of conventional endurance and strength training.

All randomized trials reported a significantly superior benefit on exercise capacity (6-minute walking distance) in favor of the WBVT group. Although there are only few studies available, there is some preliminary evidence that WBVT may be an effective exercise modality to improve functional exercise capacity in patients with COPD.

Spinal Cord Injury

Galileo side-alternating vibration is a powerful tool after neural injury that promotes early mobilization from a laying to vertical position.  It is an easy-to-use tool that compliments standard therapies with the goal of optimizing muscle recovery and plasticity without overground training.  Galileo-Training prior to walking in many people improves their waking results.

Galileo works by putting muscles through thousands of reflexive muscle contractions in minutes DIRECTLY through the afferent & efferent nervous system engaging both small and large antagonistic muscles.  The high repetition rate provides efficient therapy with little stress on the cardiovascular system in 12-15 minutes resulting in an unparalleled rapid change in the tone of the muscles being utilized and neuromuscular function.

Results are often visibly evident after 2-3 weeks of training in therapy three times a week or, at home for more intense training twice-a-day morning and evening.     

Condition Effects:

  • Stimulation of muscles
  • Reduction of spasticity and management due to neuronal fatigue
  • Stimulation of the neurological system (both afferent and efferent nerves)
  • Stimulation of large muscle chains in a physiological pattern due to Galileo’s “side-alternating” movement pattern similar to the human gait
  • Improvement of intramuscular coordination
  • Improvement of balance, muscle function, force and power
  • Improvement in blood circulation and the lymphatic system
  • Improvement of blood flow
  • Higher bone mass and osteoporosis prevention
  • Back pain treatment and prevention
  • Combination of vibration and muscle training in a laying, sitting, and standing position

Motor Complete SCI 32% Lower Muscle Area & 43% Lower Muscle Density

Lower-extremity muscle atrophy and fat infiltration after chronic spinal cord injury.

J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact, 2015; 15(1): 32-41, PMID: 25730650
Moore CD, Craven BC, Thabane L, Laing AC, Frank-Wilson AW, Kontulainen SA, Papaioannou A, Adachi JD, Giangregorio LM

Brain and Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network.


BACKGROUND: Atrophy and fatty-infiltration of lower-extremity muscle after spinal cord injury (SCI) predisposes individuals to metabolic disease and related mortality.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the magnitude of atrophy and fatty-infiltration of lower-extremity muscles and related factors in a group of individuals with chronic SCI and diverse impairment.

METHODS: Muscle cross-sectional area and density were calculated from peripheral quantitative computed tomography scans of the 66% site of the calf of 70 participants with chronic SCI [50 male, mean age 49 (standard deviation 12) years, C2-T12, AIS A-D] and matched controls. Regression models for muscle area and density were formed using 16 potential correlates selected a priori.

An illustration of watershed-guided muscle segmentation of the 66% site of the calf of a male with complete paraplegia (A) and corresponding able-bodied control (B).

An illustration of watershed-guided muscle segmentation of the 66% site of the calf of a male with complete paraplegia (A) and corresponding able-bodied control (B).

RESULTS: Participants with motor-complete SCI had approximately 32% lower muscle area, and approximately 43% lower muscle density values relative to controls. Participants with motor-incomplete SCI had muscle area and density values that were both approximately 14% lower than controls. Body mass (+), tetraplegia (+), motor function (+), spasticity (+), vigorous physical activity (+), wheelchair use (-), age (-), and waist circumference (-) were associated with muscle size and/or density in best-fit regression models.

CONCLUSIONS: There are modifiable factors related to muscle size, body composition, and activity level that may offer therapeutic targets for preserving metabolic health after chronic SCI.

High Intensity Training with Galileo Vibration

PLoS One. 2015 Feb 13;10(2):e0116764. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116764. eCollection 2015.

High intensity interval training with vibration as rest intervals attenuates fiber athrophy and prevents decreases in anaerobic performance. 

Mueller SM1, Aguayo D1, Zuercher M1, Fleischmann O1, Boutellier U1, Auer M2, Jung HH2, Toigo M1.


Aerobic high-intensity interval training (HIT) improves cardiovascular capacity but may reduce the finite work capacity above critical power (W’) and lead to atrophy of myosin heavy chain (MyHC)-2 fibers. Since whole-body vibration may enhance indices of anaerobic performance, we examined whether side-alternating whole-body vibration as a replacement for the active rest intervals during a 4 x 4 min HIT prevents decreases in anaerobic performance and capacity without compromising gains in aerobic function.

Thirty-three young recreationally active men were randomly assigned to conduct either conventional 4 x 4 min HIT, HIT with 3 min of WBV at 18 Hz (HIT+VIB18) or 30 Hz (HIT+VIB30) in lieu of conventional rest intervals, or WBV at 30 Hz (VIB30). Pre and post training, critical power (CP), W’, cellular muscle characteristics, as well as cardiovascular and neuromuscular variables were determined. W’ (-14.3%, P = 0.013), maximal voluntary torque (-8.6%, P = 0.001), rate of force development (-10.5%, P = 0.018), maximal jumping power (-6.3%, P = 0.007) and cross-sectional areas of MyHC-2A fibers (-6.4%, P = 0.044) were reduced only after conventional HIT. CP, V̇O2peak, peak cardiac output, and overall capillary-to-fiber ratio were increased after HIT, HIT+VIB18, and HIT+VIB30 without differences between groups. HIT-specific reductions in anaerobic performance and capacity were prevented by replacing active rest intervals with side-alternating whole-body vibration, notably without compromising aerobic adaptations.

Therefore, competitive cyclists (and potentially other endurance-oriented athletes) may benefit from replacing the active rest intervals during aerobic HIT with side-alternating whole-body vibration.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01875146.

Whole-body Vibration Research Reduces Falls, Helps MS Symptoms

UTEP News Service – Originally published April 3, 2015 – By Laura L. Acosta

The first time 68-year-old Carmen Sandoval climbed on the whole-body vibration machine in The University of Texas at El Paso’s Stanley E. Fulton Biomechanics and Motor Behavior Laboratory, she wasn’t sure how standing on the machine while it oscillated for five minutes was going to help improve her physical fitness.

Two months later, Sandoval’s muscle strength and bone density have increased, and she feels lighter on her feet. That has helped her chase more fly balls while playing softball with Senior Moments, an El Paso women’s slow-pitch softball team.

As part of the whole-body vibration study, Carmen Sandoval walks on a special treadmill, which simulates slipping by suddenly changing the moving direction of the belt. Participants are strapped into a harness to prevent injury. Photo by J.R. Hernandez / UTEP News Service

As part of the whole-body vibration study, Carmen Sandoval walks on a special treadmill, which simulates slipping by suddenly changing the moving direction of the belt. Participants are strapped into a harness to prevent injury. Photo by J.R. Hernandez / UTEP News Service

“It gives me more blood circulation in my legs,” Sandoval said. “I feel more energized and I don’t feel heavy on my legs.”

Sandoval is taking part in one of two studies by Feng Yang, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at UTEP, who is researching the impact of whole-body vibration training on adults 65 years and older and on people with multiple sclerosis, or MS.

In whole-body vibration therapy, a person stands on a vibration platform. As the machine vibrates, the transmission of mechanical vibrations and oscillations to the human body forces all muscles to contract and relax tens of times each second, and leads to physiological and neuromuscular changes that can reduce falls among individuals at greater fall risk.

In November, Yang received a $78,148 grant from The Retirement Research Foundation to investigate if whole-body vibration training can prevent real-life falls in Hispanic older adults. His co-principal investigators are Loretta Dillon, DPT, clinical associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, and Xiaogang Su, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

Yang, along with Dillon and Su,  also were awarded a separate $43,297 pilot grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to use the technique to study its effect on preventing falls in individuals with MS.

“Whole-body vibration is a relatively novel training approach which we can use to reduce the risk of falls for older adults or for people with movement disorders,” explained Yang, the lab’s director since 2013. “This vibration can increase muscle strength and improve the body balance and it can also improve the function in mobility, sensation, bone density and all those factors that are closely related to falls.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults, and the consequences of falls are very costly.

For his study, Yang developed an eight-week training program for 100 adults ages 65 years and older to investigate whether or not whole-body vibration training can reduce their risk of falling and if the training is still effective three months after they finish the program. Since June 2014, about 50 older adults have participated in the 18-month study.

Participants use the whole-body vibration machine for five minutes, three times a week for eight weeks.

To test if the training has improved their resistance to falls, participants walk on a special treadmill, which simulates a slipping sensation by suddenly changing the moving direction of the belt. Participants are strapped into a harness to prevent injury.

Thirty reflective markers are attached to their skin on different parts of the body, which allow their movements to be recorded using the lab’s eight-camera high-speed motion capture system. The captured motion data will be utilized to analyze the improvement in fall resistance skills resulting from the vibration training.

The goal is to see how a person regains balance after a slip without falling to the ground.

Carmen Sandoval stands on the whole body vibration machine in UTEP’s Biomechanics and Motor Behavior Laboratory. Feng Yang, kinesiology assistant professor, is studying the effects of whole-body vibration on adults 65 years and older and people with multiple sclerosis. Photo by J.R. Hernandez / UTEP News Service

Carmen Sandoval stands on the whole body vibration machine in UTEP’s Biomechanics and Motor Behavior Laboratory. Feng Yang, kinesiology assistant professor, is studying the effects of whole-body vibration on adults 65 years and older and people with multiple sclerosis. Photo by J.R. Hernandez / UTEP News Service

“It (feels) like when we really stumble because we don’t know when we’re going to stumble,” Sandoval said after the treadmill stopped suddenly and she was jolted backward before regaining her composure.

Yang also evaluates the participants’ progress by measuring their muscle strength, bone density, sensation, range of motion, fear of falling, and functional mobility. All participants’ real-life fall incidences also are monitored.

Yang said the results of the study so far have been encouraging. Besides the significant improvements in all risk factors of falls among the participants, their slip-related falls on the treadmill and the fall incidences in everyday living have been reduced by about 70 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

He is currently recruiting 40 participants for his multiple sclerosis study. The National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation estimates that more than 400,000 people in the U.S. have MS. This project has particular significance for the El Paso region, which has been identified as a nationally-recognized cluster of MS by the society.

“We also want to prevent falls for patients with MS because their fall risk is even higher,” Yang said. “Their muscles are weak, their balance and sensation are impaired and MS also affects their mobility. All of those factors contribute to falls.”

Through whole-body vibration training, Yang hopes to develop a training paradigm that involves the least amount of physical activity for individuals with MS to reduce their risk of falls.

Yang is looking for participants with mild to moderate MS who have fallen at least once in the past six months for his study. Participants will take part in whole-body vibration training for five minutes a day, three days a week for four weeks.

Before the training begins, participants will be assessed to determine how many times they have fallen in the last six months. Their fall risk factors, including body balance, functional mobility, muscle strength, fear of falling and sensorimotor skills, also will be evaluated before and after the training to document any improvement.

Yang and his collaborators also are planning to apply vibration therapy to individuals with other movement dysfunctions, such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease. The long-term goal of their research is to develop cost-efficient yet effective community-based fall prevention training programs and to reduce the costs to individuals and the health care system resulting from falls among the elderly and populations with movement impairments.

Helping Yang achieve that goal are 10 research assistants from the undergraduate and graduate kinesiology programs at UTEP. They include: Chelsea Villa, Joshua Padilla, Westin Humble, Amy Lucero, Joe Anthony Rodriguez, Carlos Lopez, Maria Sanchez, JaeEun Kim, Jose Munoz and Edson Estrada.

In January 2014, Villa began working with Yang in the biomechanics lab as an undergraduate research assistant. She graduated from UTEP in December 2014 and plans to start the Doctor of Physical Therapy program in May.

From gathering medical histories, testing the participants and analyzing data, Villa said her experience working with Yang will help prepare her to become a better physical therapist.

“I know how important clinical-based research is when applied to the real world,” Villa said. “That’s the whole reason why research is done: to see what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes we think something does work and then we do the research and it turns out that it doesn’t. I know now what information is important to analyze and what information is not.”

To participate in either study, contact Yang at 915-747-8228 or 915-747-6010 or by email at fyang@utep.edu.

Multiple Sclerosis

Positive effects of Galileo side-alternating vibration on MS

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex, progressive inflammatory, degenerative, and autoimmune demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that causes a wide range of signs and symptoms.  The most common signs and symptoms of MS are sensory changes, fatigue, balance disturbances, gait problems, spasticity, motor weakness, ataxia, and impaired muscular performance. Fatigue, often severe, affects about 85% of MS patients which causes decreased mobility, leads to impaired functional capacity and subsequently reduced physical activity and sporting. So this life style which reduces mobility can lead to secondary sequels such as obesity, osteoporosis, and/or cardiovascular damage.

The exposure to heat during the physical exercise can lead to worsening symptoms. Exercise programs must be designed to activate working muscles but avoid overload that results in conduction block.

Various forms of exercise training have been found to be well tolerated and to improve symptoms in people with MS. Traditionally, these programs have focused on aerobic exercise and resistance training, but, over the last several years, whole body vibration (WBV) has become increasingly popular as a method of exercise both for people with neurological disorders and for the general population.

Whole body vibration (WBV) is an efficient training method to improve muscle strength. It has been demonstrated that WBV is safe and an effective method for improving postural control in elderly subjects. In addition, studies have shown positive effects of WBV on postural control, balance, mobility, strength and endurance in MS.

To prevent exacerbation due to intense physical activity, moderate intensity exercise programs are suggested. The combination of resistance training with WBV can increase the severity of training without rapid increase of body temperature or cause fatigue that could induce exacerbation.

Consequences of MS:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced capability and motivation to perform exercise / training
  • Secondary effects of immobility
  • Spasticity
  • Contractions

MS training goals:

  • Improve muscle force
  • Improve high muscle power (stair climbing, stand up from a chair)
  • Stretching to prevent contraction
  • Improve coordination (using less force but higher power)
  • Improve balance

What kind of training is needed?

  • Training of the neurological system and muscle system
  • Reflex based (independent of motivation)
  • Not exhausting for the cardiovascular system
  • Training of neuromuscular communication as it is necessary for daily activities
  • Short training time
  • Low impact on joints, ligaments and tendon
  • Training stimulus has to be adjusted in a wide range because the degree of immobility in MS varies a lot.

Condition effects:

  • Improvement in timed up and go test
  • Improvement of chair rising
  • Improvement of balance
  • Higher gait speed and walking distance

Studies – Multiple Sclerosis




Aging, Balance & Fall Prevention

Side-alternating vibration exercise is safe and well tolerated in seniors to counteract the loss of balance, strength and power.   Preventing this age-associated side effect, or keeping its impact as low as possible is an effective means of training for fall-prevention.  Galileo-Training is a promising tool for the aging population because it’s easy to do for a population that may otherwise have a difficult time with traditional strength training.  Additionally, because it takes a short period of time compliance is enhanced preventing seniors from the vicious circle of pain generation caused by immobilization.

Senior Training

Senior Training

Condition Effects:

  • Maintain muscle mass and performance
  • Improvement in timed up and go test
  • Improved balance and fall prevention
  • Higher gait speed and walking distance
  • The avoidance of chronic back pain
  • Relaxation of muscle cramping

Studies – Fall Prevention


  • Controlled Whole Body Vibration to Decrease Fall Risk and Improve Health Related Quality of Life in Elderly Patients. Fast and easy exercises, 3 times a week during 6 weeks, using a controlled whole body vibrations platform, could improve the quality of life, the walk, the balance and the motor capacity in elderly patients. The treatment group underwent 6 weeks of CWBV (4 – one minute series, 3 – times a week) on a vibrating platform (10 Hz in the first and third series and 27 Hz in the second and fourth ones). (O. Buyere, et al Poster Board #114, Presentation #1271 at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in Orlando, FL 2003).

Study Summaries:

  • WBV is a safe modality to increase physiological responses of reflex and muscle activity, and muscle function, for athletes, the aged, and compromised health. (Int J Sports Med. 2011
  • WBV training group had a significant lower risk of falls in females over 65 compared to a control group. Both exercise and WBV group had a significant increase in trunk strength and leg strength compared to the control group. (Z Gerontol Geriatr. 2010)
  • Improved elements of fall risk and “home related quality of life of nursing home” elderly patients. (Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2005)
  • High-frequency vibration training increases muscle power in postmenopausal women. Over 6 months, muscle power improved by about 5% in women who received the intervention, and it remained unchanged in controls (P=.004) Thus, reflex muscular contractions induced by vibration training improve muscle power in postmenopausal women.(Arch Phys Med Rehabil., 2003)

Sports & Fitness

Not only is Galileo a clinically proven method to improve speed and power development, but it has also been shown to enhance flexibility and circulation. This translates into not only sports performance gains, but also an increased rate of recovery from training and reduced injury risk.  The majority of studies done on muscular strength show that WBV training is at least as effective as traditional strength training, and perhaps even more so if the goal is an increase in power.

Treatment Goals

  • Improve Circulation to Tight Muscles
  • Flush out Metabolic Waste
  • Improve Flexibility and Joint Mobility
  • Improved Muscle Strength and Tone
  • Prevent Joint Stiffness
  • Reduce Pain
  • Enhance Post-Training Recovery time

The Scientific Basis of Training

The use of vibrations in an athletic setting offers new possibilities to coaching science. Resistance training effectiveness has been demonstrated due to the possibility of enhancing neuromuscular performance, power output, strength and hormonal profile. However, the time needed for these adaptations to occur is relatively long as compared to the possibilities offered by vibration treatments. It should be recognized however, that vibrations need to be viewed not as a substitute tool of resistance exercise but as a valid additional means to be implemented in a training routine in association with all the other traditional methodologies nowadays utilized.

WBV exercise training appears to be a viable alternative or, supplement to conventional resistance training for enhancing muscular fitness, bone density, and balance.  Also, it is used for a variety of things from both a static and dynamic movement perspective: muscle recovery and regeneration, strength, power and flexibility enhancement, and metabolic training.

Study Summaries:

  • Six weeks of WBV training produced significant changes in spring running kinematics and explosive strength performance. (Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 2007)
  • WBV training may increase vertical jump height. (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2006)
  • WBV training was as effective in increasing strength in untrained females’ knee extensors as moderate resistance training. (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2003)
  • Acute Changes in Neuromuscular Excitability After Exhaustive Whole Body Vibration Exercise as Compared to Exhaustion by Squatting Exercise. The observed total exercise time, the changes in blood lactate and the RPE values suggest that a comparable degree of exhaustion and muscular fatigue was reached more rapidly with vibration than without. This becomes plausible when considering that whole-body vibration increases the oxygen consumption when applied in addition to the squatting exercise (Rittweger et al., 2001). A substantial correlation was observed between the individual exercise times with or without vibration, indicating a contribution of the individual resistance to fatigue for both types of exercise. (J. Rittweger, et. al.; Clinical Physiology & Functional Imaging, 2003).
  • In a few words, vibrations can stimulate the biological system of athletes in the same way as strength training or explosive training and this stimulation can be applied in a much shorter period of time as compared to the time needed to perform traditional training sessions. This opens a new window in sports science and gives coaches and scientists new possibilities for studying and enhancing human performance.The regular use of centrifugal force (2 g) for 3 months has initiated conversion of muscle fibre type (Martin and Romond, 1975). In the experiments conducted, the total length of the WBV application period was not very long (from 7 minutes to 100 minutes), but the disturbance to the gravitational field was quite consistent (5.4 g). An equivalent length and intensity of training stimulus (100 minutes) can only be reached by performing 200 drop jumps from 60 cm, twice a week for 12 months. In fact, the time spent for each drop jump is less than 200 ms, and the acceleration developed can barely reach 3.0 g (Bosco. 1992). This means stimulating the muscles for 2 min per week for a total amount in one year of 108 minutes.
  • The improvement of the muscle performance after a short period of vibration training has been quoted (Bosco et al. 1998) to be similar to what occurs after several weeks of heavy resistance training (e.g. Coyle et al. 1981, Hakkinen and Komi 1985). In fact the improvement of the muscle functions after resistance training has been attributed to the enhancement of the neuromuscular behaviour caused by the increasing activity of the higher motor centre (Milner -Brownet al., 1975). The improvement of muscle performances induced by VT suggests that a neural adaptation has occurred in response to the vibration treatments. In this context, the duration of the stimulus seems to be both relevant and important. The adaptive response of human skeletal muscle to simulated hyper-gravity conditions applied for only three weeks, caused a considerable improvement in the leg extensor muscle behavior (Bosco. 1985). Thus it is likely that both neural adaptation and the length of the stimulus seem to play an important role in the improvement of muscle performances (e.g. Bosco, 1985, 1988).
  • Adaptive Responses of Human Skeletal Muscle to Vibration Exposure. In the present experiment, even if the total length of the vibration training application period was only 10 minutes, the perturbation of the gravitation field was rather consistent (2.7g). An equivalent length and intensity of training stimulus can be reached only by performing 150 leg presses or half squats with extra loads of 3 times body weight, twice a week for 5 weeks. (C. Bosco, et. al., Clin. Physiol. 1999)
  • The facilitation of the excitability of the spinal reflex has been elicited through vibration of the quadriceps muscle (Burke et al., 1996). Lebedev and Peliakov (1991) have aIso suggested the possibility that vibrations may elicit excitatory inflow through muscle spindle-motoneurons connections in the overall motoneuron inflow.
  • It has been shown that the vibration-induced activation of muscle spindle receptors not only affects the muscle to which vibration is applied, but also affects the neighboring muscles (Kasai et. al., 1992). A mechanical vibration (10-200 Hz), applied to the muscle belly or tendon can elicit a reflex contraction (Hagbarth and Eklund, 1965). This response has been named “tonic vibration reflex” (1VR).
  • Vertical jumping ability has been shown to increase following vibration treatment (Bosco et al. 1998; Bosco et al. In-press). These improvements have been attributed to an enhancement of neural activity in the leg extensor muscles, together with an enhancement of the proprioceptors’ feedback. During vibrations, the length of skeletal muscles changes slightly. The facilitation of the excitability of spinal reflexes has been shown to be elicited by vibrations applied to the quadriceps muscle (Burke et. al., 1996).

Vibration, Resistance & Vascular Occlusion

Int J Sports Med. 2011 Oct;32(10):781-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1277215. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Combined effects of whole-body vibration, resistance exercise, and vascular occlusion on skeletal muscle and performance.

Item F, Denkinger J, Fontana P, Weber M, Boutellier U, Toigo M.

Source: Exercise Physiology, Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sport, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a new high-intensity training modality comprised of vibration exercise with superimposed resistance exercise and vascular occlusion (vibroX) on skeletal muscle and performance.

Method: Young untrained women were randomized to either train in a progressive mode on 3 days per week for 5 weeks ( N=12) or to maintain a sedentary lifestyle ( N=9). VibroX increased peak cycling power (+9%, P=0.001), endurance capacity (+57%, P=0.002), ventilatory threshold (+12%, P<0.001), and end-test torque (+15%, P=0.002) relative to the sedentary group.


  • Training load increased by 84.5% ( P<0.001) after vibroX.
  • The increases were paralleled by increases in myosin heavy chain type 1 vastus lateralis muscle fiber cross-sectional area (+14%, P=0.031) and proportion (+17%, P=0.015), thigh lean mass (+4%, P=0.001), capillary-to-fiber ratio (+14%, P=0.003), and cytochrome c oxidase activity.
  • Conversely, maximal values for oxygen consumption, cardiac output, isokinetic leg extension power and jumping power remained unaffected.
  • Notably, vastus lateralis muscle adaptations were achieved with a very low weekly training volume.

Conclusion:  We conclude that vibroX quickly increases muscle (fiber) size, capillarization, and oxidative potential, and markedly augments endurance capacity in young women.

PMID: 21870317 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Video of training – 2:15 into the video Galileo starts the rest period

Stretch Reflexes

Eur J Appl Physiol (2010) 110:143–151 DOI 10.1007/s00421-010-1483-x  Accepted: 9 April 2010 / Published online: 24 April 2010 _ Springer-Verlag 2010

EMG activity during whole body vibration: motion artifacts or stretch reflexes?

Ramona Ritzmann • Andreas Kramer • Markus Gruber • Albert Gollhofer • Wolfgang Taube


Purpose: The validity of electromyographic (EMG) data recorded during whole body vibration (WBV) is controversial. Some authors ascribed a major part of the EMG signal to vibration-induced motion artifacts while others have interpreted the EMG signals as muscular activity caused at least partly by stretch reflexes. The aim of this study was to explore the origin of the EMG signal during WBV using several independent approaches.

Method: In ten participants, the latencies and spectrograms of stretch reflex responses evoked by passive dorsiflexions in an ankle ergometer were compared to those of the EMG activity of four leg muscles during WBV. Pressure application to the muscles was used to selectively reduce the stretch reflex, thus permitting to distinguish stretch reflexes from other signals. To monitor motion artifacts, dummy electrodes were placed close to the normal electrodes.

Results: Strong evidence for stretch reflexes was found: the latencies of the stretch reflex responses evoked by dorsiflexions were almost identical to the supposed stretch reflex responses during vibration (differences of less than 1 ms). Pressure application significantly reduced the amplitude of both the supposed stretch reflexes during vibration (by 61 ± 17%, p\0.001) and the stretch reflexes in the ankle ergometer (by 56 ± 13%, p\0.01). The dummy electrodes showed almost no activity during WBV (7 ± 4% of the corresponding muscle’s iEMG signal). The frequency analyses revealed no evidence of motion artifacts.

Conclusion: The present results support the hypothesis of WBV-induced stretch reflexes. Contribution of motion artifacts to the overall EMG activity seems to be insignificant.

Keywords: Electromyography _ Afferent _Pressure application _ Frequency analysis _ Spectrogram _Latency

H-Reflex, Stretch Reflex & Short-Latency

Scand J Med Sci Sports, 2011

The effect of whole body vibration on the H-reflex, the stretch reflex, and the short-latency response during hopping.

Ritzmann R, Kramer A, Gollhofer A, Taube W
Institute of Sport and Sport Science, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


The effect of whole body vibration (WBV) on reflex responses is controversially discussed in the literature.

PURPOSE:  In this study, three different modalities of reflex activation with increased motor complexity have been selected to clarify the effects of acute WBV on reflex activation: 1) the electrically evoked H-reflex, 2) the mechanically elicited stretch reflex, and 3) the short-latency response (SLR) during hopping.

METHOD:  WBV-induced changes of the H-reflex, the stretch reflex, and the SLR during hopping were recorded in the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles and were analyzed before, during (only the H-reflex), immediately after, 5 min and 10 min after WBV.

RESULTS:  The main findings were that: 1)  the H-reflexes were significantly reduced during and at least up to 5 min after WBV, 2) the stretch reflex amplitudes were also significantly reduced immediately after WBV but recovered to their initial amplitudes within 5 min, and 3) the SLR during hopping showed no vibration-induced modulation.  With regard to the modalities with low motor complexities, the decreased H- and stretch reflex responses are assumed to point toward a reduced Ia afferent transmission during and after WBV. However, it is assumed that during hopping, the suppression of reflex sensitivity is compensated by facilitatory mechanisms in this complex motor task.

PMID: 22011018

Acute Effects of WBV on Soleus H-Reflex

International Journal of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, October 2010, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 30-40

Acute Effects of Whole Body Vibration on Rate of Force Development and Electromechanical Delay.

Junggi Hong Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Science, Willamette University.  K. Kipp, Dept of PM&R University of Michigan. S.T. Johnson & M.A. Hoffman University of Oregon State


Background: The ability to generate rapid and powerful muscle contractions within a short period of time is an important factor for both enhancing sports performance and preventing injuries. Recently, whole-body vibration (WBV) has been introduced as a novel training method designed to produce neuromuscular improvement similar to that of power and strength training. However, to date there are only limited data on the acute effects of WBV on the neuromuscular system. Furthermore, there is little understanding about the responsiveness of the neuromuscular system to acute exposure WBV.

Research question: The present study examined the effect of acute WBV training on the rate of force development (RFD) and electromechanical delay (EMD) in the soleus muscle.

Type of study: Randomized controlled study.

Methods: Forty young individuals with no leg injuries were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. The experimental group received acute WBV (3 bouts of 2 minutes). The control group adopted the same position (squat position) on the vibration platform for an equal time but received no vibration.

Results: The experimental (WBV) group demonstrated a significant group °— time interaction for the rate of force development (RFD) and electromechanical delay (EMD) representing 15.6% (from 274Nm/sec to 323 Nm/sec) and 16% (from 23.42 ms to 19.3 ms) improvement.

Conclusions: It appears that acute WBV enhances RFD and EMD of the soleus musclin young healthy subjects.

KEY WORDS: Whole body vibration, Neurological adaptation, Rate of force development, Electromechanical delay, EMG

Exhaustive Vibration Elicits Mild Cardiovascular Exertion

Clin Physiol. 2000 Mar;20(2):134-42.

Acute physiological effects of exhaustive whole-body vibration exercise in man.

Rittweger J1, Beller G, Felsenberg D.


Objective: Vibration exercise (VE) is a new neuromuscular training method which is applied in athletes as well as in prevention and therapy of osteoporosis.

Method: The present study explored the physiological mechanisms of fatigue by VE in 37 young healthy subjects. Exercise and cardiovascular data were compared to progressive bicycle ergometry until exhaustion. VE was performed in two sessions, with a 26 Hz vibration on a ground plate, in combination with squatting plus additional load (40% of body weight).

Results: After VE, subjectively perceived exertion on Borg’s scale was 18, and thus as high as after bicycle ergometry. Heart rate after VE increased to 128 min-1, blood pressure to 132/52 mmHg, and lactate to 3.5 mM. Oxygen uptake in VE was 48.8% of VO2max in bicycle ergometry. After VE, voluntary force in knee extension was reduced by 9.2%, jump height by 9.1%, and the decrease of EMG median frequency during maximal voluntary contraction was attenuated. The reproducibility in the two VE sessions was quite good: for heart rate, oxygen uptake and reduction in jump height, correlation coefficients of values from session 1 and from session 2 were between 0.67 and 0.7. Thus, VE can be well controlled in terms of these parameters. Surprisingly, an itching erythema was found in about half of the individuals, and an increase in cutaneous blood flow.

Conclusion: It follows that exhaustive whole-body VE elicits a mild cardiovascular exertion, and that neural as well as muscular mechanisms of fatigue may play a role.

PMID: 10735981