Aims: Effects of muscle mechanical vibration on movement disorders still need accumulation of a pertinent body of evidence. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of repeated muscle vibration stimulation (rMV) using a protocol, previously demonstrated able to induce plastic reorganization of the primary motor cortex in an experimental model.
Patients and methods: The study was carried out in a cohort of 8 pediatric patients (6-15 years) with lower limb spasticity due to cerebral palsy. rMV was applied for 3 consecutive days, 30 min/day, with fixed frequency (100 Hz) and low amplitude (<0.5 mm peak-to-peak), on the triceps surae. Outcome was measured using the modified Ashworth scale (MAS) and ankle range of movement (ROM) and spasticity was evaluated at T0, T1 (24 hours afterwards), T2 (30 days afterwards) and T3 (12 weeks afterwards).
Results: Spasticity ameliorated with a 40% reduction of the MAS value and a 7.7% improvement of the ankle ROM at T1. Similar results were observed in T2 and T3, thus suggesting long-lasting effects of the treatment.
Conclusions: This study remarks the possible role of rMV in a mini-invasive and cost-effective setting of treatment for spasticity due to cerebral palsy. Further studies are needed in order to confirm this preliminary results.