Effects of whole-body vibration on neuromuscular performance in individuals with spinal cord injury: a systematic review

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Abstract

Objective:

To examine the effects of whole-body vibration on neuromuscular performance in people with spinal cord injury and evaluate the safe and effective vibration protocols.

Methods:

PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL and PEDro were mainly searched for English literatures. Other data sources were ClinicalTrials.gov, Current Controlled Trials and reference lists of all relevant articles. The PEDro scale was used to evaluate the methodological quality, and the Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine level of evidence was used to assess the level of evidence. Basic information and whole-body vibration protocols were extracted by two independent researchers. Any disagreements were resolved by the third researcher.

Results:

Of the eight included studies involving 94 individuals with spinal cord injury and 24 able-bodied participants, six of them reported beneficial effects of whole-body vibration on muscle activation and the other two on muscle spasticity. Based on the reviewed studies, an intermittent mode of whole-body vibration (frequency: 10–50 Hz; amplitude: 0.6–4 mm) is less likely to cause adverse events when applying to spinal cord injury subjects standing on platform (knees flexed at 10°–40°).

Conclusions:

The strength of evidence is insufficient in supporting the benefits of whole-body vibration on neuromuscular performance in individuals with spinal cord injury. The intermittent vibration (frequency: 10–50 Hz; amplitude: 0.6–4 mm; knee flexion: 10°–40°) may be the possible effective range and have good compliance.

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