Worth Repeating: Vibration Treatment In Cerebral Palsy: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

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by:  J. Ruck, G. Chabot, F. Rauch

In this 6-month trial, twenty children with cerebral palsy (age 6.2 to 12.3 years; 6 girls) were randomized to either continue their school physiotherapy program unchanged or to receive 9 minutes of side-alternating whole-body vibration (WBV; Vibraflex Home Edition II®, Orthometrix Inc) per school day in addition to their school physiotherapy program. Patients who had received vibration therapy increased the average walking speed in the 10 m walk test by a median of 0.18 ms-1 (from a baseline of 0.47 ms-1), whereas there was no change in the control group (P=0.03 for the group difference in walking speed change). No significant group differences were detected for changes in areal bone mineral density (aBMD) at the lumbar spine, but at the distal femoral diaphysis aBMD increased in controls and decreased in the WBV group (P=0.03 for the group difference in aBMD change). About 1% of the WBV treatment sessions were interrupted because the child complained of fatigue or pain. In conclusion, the WBV protocol used in this study appears to be safe in children with cerebral palsy and may improve mobility function but we did not detect a positive treatment effect on bone.

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