In recent years, several studies have shown that whole body vibration training (WBVT) may be a beneficial training mode in a variety of chronic diseases and conditions such as osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, or chronic low back pain. However, a systematic review on the effects of WBVT in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not been performed yet. An extensive literature search was performed using various electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, LILACS, and PEDro). They were searched from inception until September 20, 2014, using key words like "COPD" and "whole body vibration training." A total of 91 studies could be identified and were screened for relevance by two independent reviewers. Six studies were included in a qualitative analysis. Trials studied either the effects of WBVT versus an inactive control group, versus sham WBVT, during an acute COPD exacerbation or as a modality on top of conventional endurance and strength training. All randomized trials reported a significantly superior benefit on exercise capacity (6-minute walking distance) in favor of the WBVT group. Although there are only few studies available, there is some preliminary evidence that WBVT may be an effective exercise modality to improve functional exercise capacity in patients with COPD.
Keywords: Whole body vibration; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); exercise; review; training.
© The Author(s) 2015.