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Effects of Whole-Body Vibration Versus Pilates Exercise on Bone Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Women

A Randomized and Controlled Clinical Trial

de Oliveira, Laís Campos, PT, PhD1; de Oliveira, Raphael Gonçalves, PE, PhD1; de Almeida Pires-Oliveira, Deise Aparecida, PT, PhD2

Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy: April/June 2019 - Volume 42 - Issue 2 - p E23–E31
doi: 10.1519/JPT.0000000000000184
Research Reports

Background and Purpose: Decreased bone mineral density (BMD) is a common condition in postmenopausal women that can be managed with impact activities. Among the activities studied are the whole-body vibration (WBV) and muscle-strengthening exercises. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of WBV versus Pilates exercise on BMD in postmenopausal women.

Methods: In this study, 51 postmenopausal women were randomized into 3 groups: vibration (n = 17), Pilates (n = 17), and control (n = 17). Outcomes were the areal bone mineral density (aBMD) (lumbar spine, femoral neck, total hip, trochanter, intertrochanter, and ward's area) assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at baseline and follow-up. The interventions were performed 3 times a week for 6 months, totaling 78 sessions. The analysis was performed with intention-to-treat and covariance analyses adjusted for baseline outcomes.

Results: After 6 months, 96.1% of the participants completed the follow-up. The analyses demonstrated significant mean between-group differences in favor of the interventions: vibration versus control, for the aBMD of the lumbar spine (0.014 g/cm2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.006-0.022; P = .018, d = 1.21) and trochanter (0.018 g/cm2; 95% CI, 0.006-0.030; P = .012, d = 1.03); and Pilates versus control, for the aBMD of the lumbar spine (0.016 g/cm2; 95% CI, 0.007-0.025; P = .008, d = 1.15) and trochanter (0.020 g/cm2; 95% CI, 0.010-0.031; P = .005, d = 1.28).

Conclusion: In postmenopausal women, 3 weekly sessions of WBV or Pilates administered for 6 months provided an equal effect on BMD.

1Universidade Estadual do Norte do Paraná, Jacarezinho, Brazil.

2Centro Universitário de Anápolis, Anápolis, Brazil.

Address correspondence to: Laís Campos de Oliveira, PT, PhD, Health Sciences Center, Universidade Estadual do Norte do Paraná, Alameda Padre Magno, 841, Nova Alcântara, CEP: 86.400-000, Jacarezinho, PR, Brazil (

Supplemental digital contents are available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Kevin Chui was the Decision Editor.

© 2019 Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, APTA
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