ESPE Abstracts (2015) 84 P-2-215

Whole-Body Vibration Training Improves Physical Function and Increases Bone and Muscle Mass in Youngsters with Mild Cerebral Palsy

Silmara Gussoa, Patricia Collea, Jose G B Derraika, Janene Biggsa, Craig Munnsb, Wayne Cutfielda & Paul Hofmana


aLiggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand; bWestmead Children’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia


Background: Adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) have decreased muscle mass resulting in impaired mobility and osteopenia. There is a void in therapeutic interventions aimed at increasing muscle mass, muscle function as well as osteopoenia in this population. Whole body vibration training (WBVT) has the potential to fill this therapeutic void by maintaining/increasing muscle mass and bone mineral accrual during growth.

Objective and hypotheses: We aimed to evaluate the effect of 20 weeks of WBVT on muscle function and bone health of adolescents with CP.

Method: 40 adolescents (16.2±2.1 years) with mild to moderate CP (10–20 years, Gross Motor Function Classification System – GMFCS II and III) were recruited to perform 9 min/day, 4×week of WBVT. Data was collected at baseline and after 20 weeks of vibration training on a Galileo platform. The assessments included Six-minute walk test, whole-body dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, peripheral quantitative computed tomography of the non-dominant tibia, muscle force and power using a ground reaction force plate.

Results: 20 weeks of vibration therapy increased lean mass overall (+770 g; P=0.0003), in the trunk (+410 g; P=0.004), and in the legs (+240 g; P=0.012). There were also consistent improvements in bone mass, with bone mineral content increasing in whole body (+48 g; P=0.0001), spine (+2.7 g; P=0.0003), and legs (+13 g; P<0.0001). Similarly, bone mineral density also increased in whole body (+0.008 g/cm2; P=0.013), spine (+0.014 g/cm2; P=0.003), and legs (+0.023 g/cm2; P<0.0001). Participants reduced the time taken to perform the chair test (P=0.0004) and improved the distance walked in the 6-min walk test by 11% on GMFCS II and 35% on GMFCS III participants.

Conclusion: Whole body vibration significantly increases muscle mass and bone health and improves mobility, thus improving the health and well-being of children with CP.

Funding: This work was supported by the Jubilee Trust, Australasian Paediatric Society Group and Maurice & Phyllis Paykel Grants.

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