Is Vibration Training Good for Your Bones? An Overview of Systematic Reviews

Biomed Res Int. 2018 Nov 4:2018:5178284. doi: 10.1155/2018/5178284. eCollection 2018.


Whole-body vibration (WBV) intervention studies and reviews have been increasing lately. However, the results regarding its effects on bone tissue in different populations are still inconclusive. The goal of this overview was to summarize systematic reviews assessing the effects of WBV training on bone parameters. Three electronic databases were scanned for systematic reviews and meta-analyses evaluating the effects of WBV on bone tissue. The search had no time restrictions and was limited to articles written in English. Vibration protocols and the main bone parameters included in each review were extracted. Methodological quality was assessed and analyses were conducted stratifying by age. 17 reviews and meta-analyses fulfilled the inclusion criteria. No increase or small improvements in bone mineral density (BMD) after WBV interventions were observed in reviews regarding postmenopausal women. One intervention study regarding young adults was included and reported no bone-related benefits from WBV. Most reviews including children and adolescents with compromised bone mass showed an improvement of BMD at lower limbs, lumbar spine, and whole body. In conclusion, WBV interventions seem to help children and adolescents with compromised bone mass to increase their BMD, but these improvements are limited in postmenopausal women and there is insufficient evidence for young adults. Further research is also needed to identify the ideal parameters of WBV training focused on bone health.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Bone and Bones / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity / physiopathology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / physiopathology
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / therapy*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Vibration / therapeutic use*