Tag Archives: COPD

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.


Side-alternating vibration has minimal effect on cardiovascular response while doing intense, high-repetition muscle training

Whole body vibration training is a new and complimentary exercise modality for endurance and strength training in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary heart disease (COPD) and provides safe exercise to improve muscle power, exercise tolerance, reduce symptoms of dyspnea, and increase HRQL.

Galileo’s side-alternating stimulation is a fast and efficient muscle tool for people with neurological diseases to improve postural control and for patients with osteoporosis to enhance bone mineral density. 1,2
In healthy subjects it has been shown that performing resistance training on Galileo induces greater neuromuscular and hormonal responses than resistance training alone by providing a more intense stimulus. 3

Major effects from peer reviewed studies are:

  • An increase in muscle power, force, and performance.
  • Improvements in exercise capacity after Galileo training may be related to an increase in neuromuscular activation.
  • One possibility of Galileo’s effect is through the vibratory stretch reflex in which the mechanical vibration elicits a myostatic stretch reflex mediated by the muscle spindle and Ia-afferents.4
  • Other possible mechanisms of benefits include enhancing postural control and improving quality of inter-muscular coordination like the complex interplay of agonists and antagonists which are often disabled in patients with COPD. 5,6

1. Zha DS, Zhu QA, Pei WW, Zheng JC, Wu SH, Xu ZX, et al. Does whole-body vibration with alternative tilting increase bone mineral density and change bone metabolism in senior people? Aging Clin Exp Res 2011.

2. Merkert J, Butz S, Nieczaj R, Steinhagen-Thiessen E, Eckardt R. Combined whole body vibration and balance training using vibrosphere(R): improvement of trunk stability, muscle tone, and postural control in stroke patients during early geriatric rehabilitation. Z Gerontol Geriatr 2011.

3. Ronnestad BR. Comparing the performance-enhancing effects of squats on a vibration platform with conventional squats in recreationally resistance-trained men. J Strength Cond Res 2004;18(4):839e45.

4. Nishihira Y, Iwasaki TAH. Effects of whole body vibration stimulus and voluntary contraction on motorneuron pool. Adv Exerc Sports Physiol 2002;8(4):83e6.

5. Bosco C, Colli R, Introini E, Cardinale M, Tsarpela O, Madella A, et al. Adaptive responses of human skeletal muscle to vibration exposure. Clin Physiol 1999;19(2):183e7.

6. Butcher SJ, Meshke JM, Sheppard MS. Reductions in functional balance, coordination, and mobility measures among patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. J Cardiopulm Rehabil 2004;24(4):274e80.