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Effects of Whole-Body Vibration on Muscle Architecture, Muscle Strength, and Balance in Stroke Patients

A Randomized Controlled Trial

Marín, Pedro J., PT, PhD; Ferrero, Cristina M., PT; Menéndez, Héctor, MS; Martín, Juan, MS; Herrero, Azael J., PhD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: October 2013 - Volume 92 - Issue 10 - p 881–888
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e318292336c
Original Research Article

Objective The aim of the present study was to analyze the effects of whole-body vibration on lower limb muscle architecture, muscle strength, and balance in stroke patients during a period of 3 mos.

Design The inclusion criteria were having had ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke at least 6 mos before the study and a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score of greater than 1 and less than 20. The patients were randomly divided into two groups: an experimental group (n = 11, six men and five women; age, 62.4 ± 10.7 yrs; height, 1.64 ± 0.07 m; mass, 69.4 ± 12.9 kg) and a sham group (n = 9, five men and four women; age, 64.4 ± 7.6 yrs; height, 1.62 ± 0.07 m; mass, 75.0 ± 15.8 kg). The experimental group received a whole-body vibration treatment, with an increase in frequency, sets, and time per set during 17 sessions. The sham group performed the same exercises as that of the experimental group but was not exposed to vibration. Outcome variables included the muscle architecture (the rectus femoris, the vastus lateralis, and the medial gastrocnemius), the maximal isometric voluntary contraction of the knee extensors, and the Berg Balance Scale.

Results There were no significant differences between the groups on the primary outcomes of lower limb muscle architecture, muscle strength, and balance.

Conclusions It seems that whole-body vibration exercise does not augment the increase in neuromuscular performance and lower limb muscle architecture induced by isometric exercise alone in stroke patients.

From the Research Center in Physical Disability, ASPAYM Castilla y León Foundation, Valladolid, Spain (PJM, CMF, HM, JM, AJH); and Faculty of Health Sciences, Miguel de Cervantes European University, Valladolid, Spain (PJM, AJH).

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Pedro J. Marín, PhD, Laboratory of Physiology, European University Miguel de Cervantes, C/ Padre Julio Chevalier 2, 47012 Valladolid, Spain.

Clinical trial registration: ACTRN 12612000752864.

Supported, in part, by a grant from the Ministry of Health of the Junta de Castilla y León.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins