A to Z of MS
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A to Z of MS Vibration therapy
Whole body vibration therapy (WBV) is delivered through a vibrating platform on which exercises are performed.
Research in the general population suggests that the beneficial effects of the exercises are achieved in less time when using vibration therapy and might be similar to those achieved with resistance training.
There has been little research into the effects of vibration therapy for people with multiple sclerosis. Some positive results with regular whole body vibration therapy have suggested that it can improve lower limb strength and mobility in some individuals with MS, although other studies that have taken place suggest that exercising with a vibrating platform is not measurably more effective than exercise alone.
A small pilot study in Glasgow, supported by the MS Trust, involved 12 people with MS carrying out a set of exercises with and without vibrations for a fixed number of sessions over a three month period. In general, the results demonstrated small improvements following both exercise and exercise combined with whole body vibration. Although whole body vibration did not lead to any statistically significant improvement in the measures, comments from the participants were generally positive. People reported fewer spasms at night, better sleep, improved ability to climb stairs and better sensation in their feet.
Further larger scale studies into the effects of whole body vibration are necessary to clarify its role in MS.
Sitjà Rabert M, et al.
Whole-body vibration training for patients with neurodegenerative disease.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012;2:CD009097.
Schyns F, et al.
Vibration therapy in multiple sclerosis: a pilot study exploring its effects on tone, muscle force, sensation and functional performance.
Clinical Rehabilitation 2009;23(9):771-781.