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Clin Rehabil. 2009 Sep;23(9):771-81. doi: 10.1177/0269215508101758. Epub 2009 Jun 26.

Vibration therapy in multiple sclerosis: a pilot study exploring its effects on tone, muscle force, sensation and functional performance.

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  • 1Revive MS Support, MS Therapy Centre, Glasgow, UK.



To examine the effectiveness of whole body vibration (WBV) on tone, muscle force, sensation and functional performance in people with multiple sclerosis.


A randomized cross-over pilot study.


Revive MS Support Therapy Centre. Glasgow, UK.


Sixteen people with multiple sclerosis were randomly allocated to one of two groups.


Group 1 received four weeks of whole body vibration plus exercise three times per week, two weeks of no intervention and then four weeks of exercise alone three times per week. Group 2 were given the two treatment interventions in the reverse order to group 1.


Ten-metre walk, Timed Up and Go Test, Modified Ashworth Scale, Multiple Sclerosis Spasticity Scale (MSSS-88), lower limb muscle force, Nottingham Sensory Assessment and Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29) were used before and after intervention.


The exercise programme had positive effects on muscle force and well-being, but there was insufficient evidence that the addition of whole body vibration provided any further benefit. The Modified Ashworth Scale was generally unaffected by either intervention, although, for each group, results from the MSSS-88 showed whole body vibration and exercises reduced muscle spasms (P = 0.02). Although results for the 10-m walk and Timed Up and Go Test improved, this did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.56; P = 0.70, respectively). For most subjects sensation was unaffected by whole body vibration.


Exercise may be beneficial to those with multiple sclerosis, but there is limited evidence that the addition of whole body vibration provides any additional improvements. Further larger scale studies into the effects of whole body vibration in people with multiple sclerosis are essential.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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