Whole-body Vibration Training Improved Balance in Fibromyalgia Patients

Editor's comment:  Whole-body vibration training generally consists of a person standing on a vibrating platform and performing simple exercises like squats or lunges.  As the platform vibrates, it causes your muscles to contract and relax dozens of times each second.  According to the Mayo Clinic, ”Some research shows that whole body vibration, when performed correctly and under medical supervision when needed, can reduce back pain, improve balance in older adults [and] reduce bone loss.”

Changes in body balance and functional performance following whole-body vibration training in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: A randomized controlled trial.

By Borja Sañudo, et al.


Objective: To determine whether an 8-week exercise programme supplemented with whole-body vibration improves body balance and dynamic strength in women with fibromyalgia.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Patients: Forty-six participants diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to:

  • (i) an exercise training group with whole-body vibration (n = 15), which performed twice-weekly exercise sessions (aerobic exercise, strengthening and flexibility) combined with 3 whole-body vibration training sessions a week (bilateral squats: 6-9 sets of 30 s with 45-s recovery between sets; and unilateral squat: 4-7 sets of 30 s, 30 Hz-4 mm);

  • (ii) an exercise group (n = 15) with the same combined exercise therapy; and

  • (iii) a usual-care control group (n = 16).

Results: Statistically significant improvements in the Medio-Lateral Stability Index and Medio-Lateral Mean Deflection with open eyes were found in the whole-body vibration exercise group compared with the control group. Non-significant effects were found for lower-limb physical function.

Conclusion: The results show that a traditional exercise programme, supplemented with whole-body vibration training, improved balance in women with fibromyalgia. This may represent a key factor for falls prevention in this patient group.

Source: Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, June 24, 2013. By Borja Sañudo, Luis Carrasco, Moisés de Hoyo, Ángel Oliva-Pascual-Vaca and Cleofás Rodríguez-Blanco. Physical Education and Sports Department, University of Seville, Campus Pirotécnia. C/ Pirotécnia s/n, ES-41013 Sevilla, Spain.

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