The effects of whole body vibration on physical and physiological capability in special populations
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science
The objective of this article was to systematically review the effects of whole body vibration (WBV) loading parameters on the elderly, postmenopausal women and neurological patients. Ten databases were searched for clinical trials using WBV training in special populations. To assess the methodological quality, the PEDro score was used. To compare effects, effects were converted into percentage changes and effect sizes. Four clinical and 10 randomized clinical trial papers were included. The average PEDro score was 4.93 (± 1.59). With 60-second intervention and 60-second rest periods, the most frequent vibratory stimulation loading parameters used were 3–6 Hz and 3 mm amplitude for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease patients, and 30 Hz and 3–5 mm amplitude for all other conditions. Balance, stability and functional performance significantly improved (p < 0.05) in all special population WBV intervention groups as compared with the control groups. Bone mass density and isometric leg strength improvements were also reported. WBV provides alternative and/or additional therapeutic interventions to improve physical and functional performance. The specific loading parameters and the value of WBV as compared with conventional interventions need to be the source of future research.