Whole-Body Vibration Combined with Treadmill Training Improves Walking Performance in Post-Stroke Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Med Sci Monit. 2017 Oct 14;23:4918-4925. doi: 10.12659/msm.904474.


BACKGROUND Stroke is characterized by an asymmetrical gait pattern that causes poor stability and reduces overall activity levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of whole-body vibration combined with treadmill training (WBV-TT) on walking performance in patients with chronic stroke. MATERIAL AND METHODS Thirty ambulatory chronic stroke patients were randomly allocated to the WBV-TT group or the treadmill training (TT) group. The participants in the WBV-TT group performed 6 types of exercises on a vibrating platform for 4.5 minutes and then walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes. The participants in the TT group conducted the same exercise on a platform without vibration and then walked on the treadmill in the same manner. The vibration lasted for 45 seconds in each exercise, and the intervention was performed 3 times weekly for 6 weeks. The treadmill walking speed was gradually increased by 5% in both groups. The outcome measures included the temporospatial parameter of gait (GAITRite®) and 6-minute walk test. RESULTS The WBV-TT group showed significant improvements in walking performance with respect to walking speed, cadence, step length, stride length, single-limb support, double-limb support, and 6-minute walk test compared with baseline (p<0.05). Significant improvements were also seen in walking speed, step length, stride length, and double-limb support compared with the TT group (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS These findings indicate that WBV-TT is more effective than TT for improving walking performance of patients with chronic stroke.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Exercise Test / methods
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Stroke / therapy
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Vibration / therapeutic use*
  • Walking / physiology