Therapeutic effects of whole-body vibration training in knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Aug;96(8):1525-32. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2015.03.010. Epub 2015 Mar 28.


Objective: To examine the current evidence regarding the effects of whole-body vibration (WBV) training in individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Data sources: We searched PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Scopus, Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), and Science Citation Index for research articles published prior to January 2015 using the keywords whole body vibration, vibration training, and vibratory exercise in combination with the Medical Subject Heading osteoarthritis knee.

Study selection: This meta-analysis was restricted to randomized controlled trials published in the English language. The quality of the selected studies was assessed by the PEDro Scale. The risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane collaboration's tool in the domain-based evaluation. We also evaluated the quality of each study based on the criteria given by the International Society of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions for reporting WBV intervention studies, consisting of 13 factors.

Data extraction: Descriptive data regarding subjects, design, intervention, WBV parameters, outcomes, and conclusions were collected from each study by 2 independent evaluators. The mean and SD of the baseline and final endpoint scores for pain, stiffness, and function were extracted from the included studies.

Data synthesis: A total of 83 studies were found in the search. Of these, 5 studies met the inclusion criteria and were further analyzed. Four of these 5 studies reached high methodologic quality on the PEDro Scale. Overall, studies demonstrated mixed results in favor of additive effects of WBV for reducing pain and improving function in knee OA. There was considerable variation in the parameters of the WBV included in this systematic review.

Conclusions: WBV training reduces pain and improves function in individuals with knee OA.

Keywords: Knee; Osteoarthritis; Pain; Rehabilitation; Vibration.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / rehabilitation*
  • Pain / rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Recovery of Function
  • Vibration / therapeutic use*