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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2005 Mar;288(3):R623-9. Epub 2004 Oct 7.

Plantar vibration improves leg fluid flow in perimenopausal women.

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Depts. of Pediatrics and Physiology, The Center for Pediatric Hypotension and Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Suite 618, Munger Pavilion, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA.


Recent studies have indicated that plantar-based vibration may be an effective approach for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. We addressed the hypothesis of whether the plantar vibration operated by way of the skeletal muscle pump, resulting in enhanced blood and fluid flow to the lower body. We combined plantar stimulation with upright tilt table testing in 18 women aged 46-63 yr. We used strain-gauge plethysmography to measure calf blood flow, venous capacitance, and the microvascular filtration relation, as well as impedance plethysmography to examine changes in leg, splanchnic, and thoracic blood flow while supine at a 35 degrees upright tilt. A vibrating platform was placed on the footboard of a tilt table, and measurements were made at 0, 15, and 45 Hz with an amplitude of 0.2 g point to point, presented in random order. Impedance-measured supine blood flows were significantly (P = 0.05) increased in the calf (30%), pelvic (26%), and thoracic regions (20%) by plantar vibration at 45 Hz. Moreover, the 25-35% decreases in calf and pelvic blood flows associated with upright tilt were reversed by plantar vibration, and the decrease in thoracic blood flow was significantly attenuated. Strain-gauge measurements showed an attenuation of upright calf blood flow. In addition, the microvascular filtration relation was shifted with vibration, producing a pronounced increase in the threshold for edema, P(i), due to enhanced lymphatic flow. Supine values for P(i) increased from 24 +/- 2 mmHg at 0 Hz to 27 +/- 3 mmHg at 15 Hz, and finally to 31 +/- 2 mmHg at 45 Hz (P < 0.01). Upright values for P(i) increased from 25 +/- 3 mmHg at 0 Hz, to 28 +/- 4 mmHg at 15 Hz, and finally to 35 +/- 4 mmHg at 45 Hz. The results suggest that plantar vibration serves to significantly enhance peripheral and systemic blood flow, peripheral lymphatic flow, and venous drainage, which may account for the apparent ability of such stimuli to influence bone mass.

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