Does focal mechanical stimulation of the lower limb muscles improve postural control and sit to stand movement in elderly?

Aging Clin Exp Res. 2018 Oct;30(10):1161-1166. doi: 10.1007/s40520-018-0909-x. Epub 2018 Feb 21.


Backgrounds: Imbalance in elderly is a common problem strictly related to fall.

Aims: This study investigates the possibility that a new protocol based on the focal mechanical muscle vibration may improve balance and stability in elderly.

Methods: Pre-post non-randomized clinical trial has been used. Patients referring postural disequilibrium with negative vestibular bed-side examinations have been treated with focal muscle vibration applied to quadriceps muscles and evaluated before and immediately after therapy and after 1 week and after 1 month with postural stabilometric examination and with an inertial measurement units during the time up and go test.

Results: Stabilometric analysis showed statistically significant differences in both the area (p = 0.01) and sway (p < 0.01) of the center of pressure during the close eyes tests. Moreover, the global time of the time up and go test was reduced (p < 0.05) and the rotation velocity was increased (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: The findings confirm the beneficial role of focal muscle vibration in elderly patients improve postural stability and mobility.

Keywords: Fall; Muscle vibration; Performance-oriented mobility assessment; Postural instability; Rehabilitation; Tinetti test.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Quadriceps Muscle / physiology
  • Vibration / therapeutic use*