Functional performance and inflammatory cytokines after squat exercises and whole-body vibration in elderly individuals with knee osteoarthritis

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Oct;93(10):1692-700. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.04.017. Epub 2012 Apr 27.


Objective: To investigate the effects of squat exercises combined with whole-body vibration on the plasma concentration of inflammatory markers and the functional performance of elderly individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Design: Clinical, prospective, randomized, single-blinded study.

Setting: Exercise physiology laboratory.

Participants: Elderly subjects with knee OA (N=32) were divided into 3 groups: (1) squat exercises on a vibratory platform (platform group, n=11); (2) squat exercises without vibration (squat group, n=10); and (3) the control group (n=11).

Interventions: The structured program of squat exercises in the platform and squat groups was conducted 3 times per week, on alternate days, for 12 weeks.

Main outcome measures: Plasma soluble tumor necrosis factor-α receptors 1 (sTNFR1) and 2 (sTNFR2) were measured using immunoassays (the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method). The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index questionnaire was used to evaluate self-reported physical function, pain, and stiffness. The 6-minute walk test, the Berg Balance Scale, and gait speed were used to evaluate physical function.

Results: In the platform group, there were significant reductions in the plasma concentrations of the inflammatory markers sTNFR1 and sTNFR2 (P<.001 and P<.05, respectively) and self-reported pain (P<.05) compared with the control group, and there was an increase in balance (P<.05) and speed and distance walked (P<.05 and P<.001, respectively). In addition, the platform group walked faster than the squat group (P<.01).

Conclusions: The results suggest that whole-body vibration training improves self-perception of pain, balance, gait quality, and inflammatory markers in elderly subjects with knee OA.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / blood*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / rehabilitation*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / blood*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Vibration*


  • Biomarkers
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha