Focal muscle vibration, an effective rehabilitative approach in severe gait impairment due to multiple sclerosis

J Neurol Sci. 2017 Jan 15:372:33-39. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2016.11.025. Epub 2016 Nov 15.


Gait impairment is one of the most frequent and life-altering consequences of Multiple sclerosis (MS), frequently associated with lower limb spasticity. Focal muscle vibration (fMV) is a technique that applies a vibratory stimulus to a specific muscle or its tendon, reducing spasticity. The aim of our study is to evaluate the efficacy of fMV in ameliorating gait impairment in MS patients with severe lower limb spasticity, measured by Gait Analysis (GA) and objective and patient-oriented scales scores. Fourteen patients affected by Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS) with a lower limb spasticity with a low or no response to antispastic drugs, received repetitive fMV (r-fMV) over the quadriceps and the lumbar paraspinal muscles. The effect of r-fMV on gait was measured by a GA evaluation and objective and patient-oriented scales scores, performed before r-fMV (T0), and 1week (T1) and 1month (T2) after the last session of r-fMV. After the r-fMV the most of spatio-temporal parameters calculated by GA were improved. Moreover, clinical evaluation related results showed an improvement of SM patients' quality of life. In conclusion, r-fMV improves gait function in MS patients affected by severe spasticity of lower limb, non-responsive to common oral antispastic drugs.

Keywords: Focal muscle vibration; Gait analysis; Multiple sclerosis; Rehabilitation; Spasticity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / etiology*
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / etiology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Vibration / therapeutic use*