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J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2014 Jul;8(4):889-94. doi: 10.1177/1932296814536289. Epub 2014 May 21.

Effect of whole body vibration on skin blood flow and nitric oxide production.

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Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA
Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA.



Vascular dysfunction due to hyperglycemia in individuals with diabetes is a factor contributing to distal symmetric polyneuropathy (DSPN). Reactive oxygen species reduce the bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO), a powerful vasodilator, resulting in reduced circulation and nerve ischemia. Increases in blood NO concentrations and circulation have been attributed to whole body vibration (WBV). The purpose of this study was to the determine the effects of low-frequency, low-amplitude WBV on whole blood NO concentrations and skin blood flow (SBF) in individuals with symptoms of DSPN.


Ten patients with diabetes and impaired sensory perception in the lower limbs participated in this crossover study. Each submitted to 2 treatment conditions, WBV and sham, with a 1-week washout period between. Blood draws for NO analysis and laser Doppler imager scans of SBF were performed before, immediately after, and following a 5-minute recovery of each of the treatments.


Low-frequency, low-amplitude WBV significantly increased SBF compared to the sham condition (F(2,18) = 5.82, P = .0115). Whole blood NO concentrations did not differ between the WBV and sham conditions immediately or 5 minutes after treatment (F(2,18) = 1.88, P = .1813).


These findings demonstrate that patients with diabetes respond to WBV with increased SBF compared to the sham condition. The implication is that WBV is a potential nonpharmacological therapy for neurovascular complications of diabetes.


diabetes; neuropathy; nitric oxide; skin blood flow; whole body vibration

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