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J Bone Miner Metab. 2012 Jan;30(1):40-6. doi: 10.1007/s00774-011-0293-5. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Low-magnitude whole body vibration does not affect bone mass but does affect weight in ovariectomized rats.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molenwaterplein 40, Room 16.14, PO box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Mechanical loading has stimulating effects on bone architecture, which can potentially be used as a therapy for osteoporosis. We investigated the skeletal changes in the tibia of ovariectomized rats during treatment with whole body vibration (WBV). Different low-magnitude WBV treatment protocols were tested in a pilot experiment using ovariectomized rats with loading schemes of 2 × 8 min/day, 5 days/week (n = 2 rats per protocol). Bone volume and architecture were evaluated during a 10 week follow-up using in-vivo microcomputed tomography scanning. The loading protocol in which a 45 Hz sine wave was applied at 2 Hz with an acceleration of 0.5g showed an anabolic effect on bone and was therefore further analyzed in two groups of animals (n = 6 each group) with WBV starting directly after or 3 weeks after ovariectomy and compared to a control (non-WBV) group at 0, 3, 6 and 10 weeks' follow-up. In the follow-up experiment the WBV stimulus did not significantly affect trabecular volume fraction or cortical bone volume in any of the treatment groups during the 10 week follow-up. WBV did reduce weight gain that was induced as a consequence of ovariectomy. We could not demonstrate any significant effects of WBV on bone loss as a consequence of ovariectomy in rats; however, the weight gain that normally results after ovariectomy was partly prevented. Treatment with WBV was not able to prevent bone loss during induced osteoporosis.

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