Comparing the effects of whole body vibration to standard exercise in ambulatory people with Multiple Sclerosis : A randomised controlled feasibility study

Article in Clinical Rehabilitation 1-12, July 2015; Marcin Kacper Uszynski, Helen Purtill, Alan Donnelly and Susan Coote

This article aimed to investigate if whole body vibration is more effective than the same duration and intensity of standard exercise in people with Multiple Sclerosis. It was carried out in an outpatient MS Centre. 27 people with minimal gait impairments were included in the study with 14 in the whole body vibration group and 13 in the standard exercise group. Subjects included in this study either walked without an aid, used a unilateral aid for outdoor walking (e.g. walking stick) or used a bilateral walking aid outdoors (e.g. elbow crutches)The study was carried out over a 12 week period with sessions taking place 3 times per week. Subjects in each group performed the same exercise protocol with the whole body vibration group performing exercises on a vibration plate. Exercises included squats, calf raises, lunges, one leg standing and step ups onto an aerobic step. It was found that there was no statistically significant differences between the groups in terms of strength, mobility (6 minute walk test and timed up and go), balance (Mini-BESTest) and sensation. However, this may be due to the small number of participants included in the study. It is important to note that no side effects were reported from either group.

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