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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Mar;89(3):399-403. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2007.09.031.

Whole body vibration versus conventional physiotherapy to improve balance and gait in Parkinson's disease.

Author information

  • 1Movement Disorders Clinic, Beelitz-Heilst├Ątten, Germany. ebersbach@parkinson-beelitz.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the effects of whole body vibration (WBV) and conventional physiotherapy (PT) on levodopa-resistant disturbances of balance and gait in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD).

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled rater-blinded trial comparing 2 active interventions, final follow-up assessment 4 weeks after termination of active intervention.

SETTING:

Specialized referral center, hospitalized care.

PARTICIPANTS:

Patients with PD and dopa-resistant imbalance on stable dopamine replacement medication (N=27) were randomized (intent-to-treat population) to receive WBV (n=13) or conventional PT (controls, n=14). Twenty-one patients (per protocol population) completed follow-up (14 men, 7 women; mean age, 73.8 y; age range, 62-84 y; mean disease duration, 7.2 y; mean dopa-equivalent dose, 768 mg/d).

INTERVENTION:

Subjects were randomized to receive 30 sessions (two 15-min sessions a day, 5 days a week) of either WBV on an oscillating platform or conventional balance training including exercises on a tilt board. Twenty-one subjects (10 with WBV, 11 controls) were available for follow-up 4 weeks after treatment termination.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The primary measure was Tinetti Balance Scale score. Secondary clinical ratings included stand-walk-sit test, walking velocity, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (section III motor examination) score, performance in the pull test, and dynamic posturography.

RESULTS:

The Tinetti score improved from 9.3 to 12.8 points in the WBV group and from 8.3 to 11.7 in the controls. All secondary measures, except posturography, likewise improved at follow-up compared with baseline in both groups. Quantitative dynamic posturography only improved in patients with WBV (1937-1467 mm) whereas there was no significant change in controls (1832-2030 mm).

CONCLUSIONS:

Equilibrium and gait improved in patients with PD receiving conventional WBV or conventional PT in the setting of a comprehensive rehabilitation program. There was no conclusive evidence for superior efficacy of WBV compared with conventional balance training.

PMID:
18295614
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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