Whole body vibration versus conventional physiotherapy to improve balance and gait in Parkinson's disease

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Mar;89(3):399-403. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2007.09.031.

Abstract

Objective: To compare the effects of whole body vibration (WBV) and conventional physiotherapy (PT) on levodopa-resistant disturbances of balance and gait in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD).

Design: Randomized controlled rater-blinded trial comparing 2 active interventions, final follow-up assessment 4 weeks after termination of active intervention.

Setting: Specialized referral center, hospitalized care.

Participants: Patients with PD and dopa-resistant imbalance on stable dopamine replacement medication (N=27) were randomized (intent-to-treat population) to receive WBV (n=13) or conventional PT (controls, n=14). Twenty-one patients (per protocol population) completed follow-up (14 men, 7 women; mean age, 73.8 y; age range, 62-84 y; mean disease duration, 7.2 y; mean dopa-equivalent dose, 768 mg/d).

Intervention: Subjects were randomized to receive 30 sessions (two 15-min sessions a day, 5 days a week) of either WBV on an oscillating platform or conventional balance training including exercises on a tilt board. Twenty-one subjects (10 with WBV, 11 controls) were available for follow-up 4 weeks after treatment termination.

Main outcome measures: The primary measure was Tinetti Balance Scale score. Secondary clinical ratings included stand-walk-sit test, walking velocity, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (section III motor examination) score, performance in the pull test, and dynamic posturography.

Results: The Tinetti score improved from 9.3 to 12.8 points in the WBV group and from 8.3 to 11.7 in the controls. All secondary measures, except posturography, likewise improved at follow-up compared with baseline in both groups. Quantitative dynamic posturography only improved in patients with WBV (1937-1467 mm) whereas there was no significant change in controls (1832-2030 mm).

Conclusions: Equilibrium and gait improved in patients with PD receiving conventional WBV or conventional PT in the setting of a comprehensive rehabilitation program. There was no conclusive evidence for superior efficacy of WBV compared with conventional balance training.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Manipulations / methods*
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Probability
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vibration / therapeutic use*