Immediate Effect of a Single Session of Whole Body Vibration on Spasticity in Children With Cerebral Palsy

Ann Rehabil Med. 2017 Apr;41(2):273-278. doi: 10.5535/arm.2017.41.2.273. Epub 2017 Apr 27.


Objective: To investigate the immediate effect of a single session of whole body vibration (WBV) on lower extremity spasticity in children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Methods: Seventeen children with spastic CP were included. A single session of WBV was administered: 10-minute WBV, 1-minute rest, and 10-minute WBV. The effects of WBV were clinically assessed with the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) and Modified Tardieu Scale (MTS) before and immediately, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, and 4 hours after WBV.

Results: Spasticity of the ankle plantarflexor, as assessed by MAS and MTS scores, was reduced after WBV. Post-hoc analysis demonstrated that, compared to baseline, the MAS significantly improved for a period of 1 hour after WBV, and the R1 and R2-R1 of the MTS significantly improved for a period of 2 hours after WBV.

Conclusion: A single session of WBV improves spasticity of ankle plantarflexors for 1-2 hours in children with CP. Future studies are needed to test whether WBV is an effective preparation before physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Keywords: Cerebral palsy; Muscle spasticity; Vibration.