Background Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a relative new intervention paradigm that could reduce spasticity and improve motor function in children with cerebral palsy (CP). We investigated neuromuscular response to a single session of side-alternating WBV with different amplitudes in children with CP.
Methods Ten children with spastic CP aged 7–17 years at GMFCS level I-III participated in this pilot study. Participants received two sessions of side-alternating WBV with the same frequency (20 Hz) but different amplitudes (low-amplitude: 1 mm and high-amplitude: 2 mm). Each session included six sets of 90 s of WBV and 90 s of rest. Before and after each WBV session, we used (a) the modified Ashworth scale to evaluate the spasticity of the participants' leg muscles, (b) a quiet standing task to analyze center-of-pressure (CoP) pattern and postural control, and (c) overground walking trials to assess spatiotemporal gait parameters and joint range-of-motion (RoM).
Results Both WBV sessions similarly reduced the spasticity of the ankle plantarflexors, improved long-range correlation of CoP profile during standing, and reduced muscle activity of tibialis anterior during walking. The high-amplitude WBV further increased ankle RoM during walking.
Conclusions This study demonstrates that a single session of WBV with either a low or a high amplitude can reduce spasticity, enhance standing posture, and improve gait patterns in children with CP. It suggests that low-amplitude WBV may induce similar neuromuscular response as high-amplitude WBV in children with spastic CP and can provide positive outcomes for those who are not able to tolerate stronger vibration.
Liang V, Henderson G, Wu J. Neuromuscular response to a single session of whole-body vibration in children with cerebral palsy: A pilot study. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2020 Dec;80:105170. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2020.105170.
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