Does giving segmental muscle vibration alter the response to botulinum toxin injections in the treatment of spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis? A single-blind randomized controlled trial

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To determine if segmental muscle vibration and botulinum toxin-A injection, either alone or in combination, reduces spasticity in a sample of patients with multiple sclerosis.


Single-blind, randomized controlled trial.


Physical medicine and rehabilitation outpatients service.


Forty-two patients affected by the secondary progressive form of multiple sclerosis randomized to group A (30 minutes of 120 Hz segmental muscle vibration over the rectus femoris and gastrocnemius medial and lateral, three per week, over a period of four weeks), group B (botulinum toxin in the rectus femoris, gastrocnemius medial and lateral and soleus, and segmental muscle vibration) and group C (botulinum toxin).

Main measures:

Modified Ashworth Scale at knee and ankle, and Fatigue Severity Scale. All the measurements were performed at baseline (T0), 10 weeks (T1) and 22 weeks (T2) postallocation.


Modified Ashworth Scale at knee and ankle significantly decreased over time (p < 0.001) in all groups. Patients in group C displayed a significant increase of knee and ankle spasticity at T2 when compared with T1 (p < 0.05). Fatigue Severity Scale values in groups A and C were significantly higher at T0 [A: 53.6 (2.31); C: 48.5 (2.77)] than at either T1 [A: 48.6 (2.21); p = 0.03; C: 43.5 (3.22); p = 0.03] or T2 [A: 46.7 (2.75); p = 0.02; 42.5 (2.17); p = 0.02], while no differences were detected in group B [T0: 43.4 (3.10); T1: 37.3 (3.15); T2: 39.7 (2.97)].


Segmental muscle vibration and botulinum toxin-A reduces spasticity and improves fatigue in the medium-term follow-up in patients with multiple sclerosis.

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