Whole body vibration therapy (WBV) involves doing exercises on a vibrating platform.  Research in the general population suggests that the benefits of exercise are achieved in less time when using vibration therapy.

There has been little research into vibration therapy in multiple sclerosis. Some studies suggest that regular sessions may improve lower limb strength and mobility.  Other studies suggest that exercising using a vibrating platform is no more effective than exercise alone.

A small pilot study in Glasgow was supported by the MS Trust.  Twelve people with MS took part in a series of exercise sessions, both with and without vibrations, over three months. The results showed similar small improvements after both exercise alone and exercise with whole body vibration. People in the trial had fewer spasms at night, better sleep, found it easier to climb stairs and had better feeling in their feet.

Larger studies into the effects of whole body vibration are needed to learn more about its role in MS.

References

  • Hilgers C, et al. Effects of whole-body vibration training on physical function in patients with multiple sclerosis. NeuroRehabilitation 2013;32(3):655-663. Summary
  • Sitjà Rabert M, et al. Whole-body vibration training for patients with neurodegenerative disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue2. Art.No.:CD009097. Full article
  • 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. Summary

Last updated: 25 January 2016
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