Content » Vol 47, Issue 3

Original report

Whole-body vibration therapy in children with severe motor disabilities

Sophie Kilebrant , Gunnar Braathen , Roger Emilsson , Ulla Glansén , Ann-Charlott Söderpalm, Bo Zetterlund, Barbro Westerberg, Per Magnusson, Diana Swolin-Eide
Child and Youth Habilitation, Habilitation & Health, 421 44 Gothenburg, Sweden. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1921


Objective: To study the effect of whole-body vibration therapy on bone mass, bone turnover and body composition in severely disabled children.
Methods: Nineteen non-ambulatory children aged 5. 1–16. 3 years (6 males, 13 females) with severe motor disabilities participated in an intervention programme with standing exercise on a self-controlled dynamic platform, which included whole-body vibration therapy (vibration, jump and rotation movements). Whole-body vibration therapy was performed at 40–42 Hz, with an oscillation amplitude of 0. 2 mm, 5–15 min/treatment, twice/week for 6 months. Bone mass parameters and bone markers were measured at the study start, and after 6 and 12 months.
Results: Whole-body vibration therapy was appreciated by the children. Total-body bone mineral density increased during the study period (p < 0. 05). Z-scores for total-body bone mineral density ranged from –5. 10 to –0. 60 at study start and remained unchanged throughout. Approximately 50% of the subjects had increased levels of carboxy-terminal telopeptides of type I collagen and decreased levels of osteocalcin at the start. Body mass index did not change during the intervention period, but had increased by the 12-month follow-up (p < 0. 05).
Conclusion: Whole-body vibration therapy appeared to be well tolerated by children with severe motor disabilities. Total-body bone mineral density increased after 6 months of whole-body vibration therapy. Higher carboxy-terminal telopeptides of type I collagen and lower osteocalcin values indicated that severely disabled children have a reduced capacity for bone acquisition.

Lay Abstract


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