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Clin Neurophysiol. 2007 Nov;118(11):2456-67. Epub 2007 Sep 25.

Effects of bilateral Achilles tendon vibration on postural orientation and balance during standing.

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School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, 3654 Promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1Y5.



Altering proprioceptive information in the lower limbs by vibration produces direction-specific falling and postural instability, which can persist after vibration stops. The objectives of this study were to describe the changes in trunk and lower limbs postural orientation and muscles activities during and after the end of bilateral Achilles tendon vibration (TV).


Twelve healthy young subjects were exposed to 30s periods of TV while blindfolded. Whole-body kinematics, kinetics and EMG of eight lower limb and trunk muscles were recorded prior, during and 5 or 25s after TV.


TV during quiet standing produced a whole-body backward shift characterized by greater extension in the trunk and lower limbs. Five seconds after TV, two trends of recovery could be observed, either an overcorrection or undercorrection of the initial position.


A continuum of postural orientations are adopted during and after vibration and the movements are not restricted to the ankle joints, despite the local nature of the proprioceptive stimulation.


The widespread influence of vibration as a proprioceptive stimulation when assessing its effects on posture and balance needs to be considered. Further studies should include whole-body analyses to document more thoroughly the postural strategies for balance maintenance during vibration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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