Whole-Body Vibration Combined with Treadmill Training Improves Walking Performance in Post-Stroke Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Med Sci Monit. 2017 Oct 14 ;23:4918-4925. Epub 2017 Oct 14. PMID: 29031023
BACKGROUND Stroke is characterized by an asymmetrical gait pattern that causes poor stability and reduces overall activity levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of whole-body vibration combined with treadmill training (WBV-TT) on walking performance in patients with chronic stroke. MATERIAL AND METHODS Thirty ambulatory chronic stroke patients were randomly allocated to the WBV-TT group or the treadmill training (TT) group. The participants in the WBV-TT group performed 6 types of exercises on a vibrating platform for 4.5 minutes and then walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes. The participants in the TT group conducted the same exercise on a platform without vibration and then walked on the treadmill in the same manner. The vibration lasted for 45 seconds in each exercise, and the intervention was performed 3 times weekly for 6 weeks. The treadmill walking speed was gradually increased by 5% in both groups. The outcome measures included the temporospatial parameter of gait (GAITRite®) and 6-minute walk test. RESULTS The WBV-TT group showed significant improvements in walking performance with respect to walking speed, cadence, step length, stride length, single-limb support, double-limb support, and 6-minute walk test compared with baseline (p<0.05). Significant improvements were also seen in walking speed, step length, stride length, and double-limb support compared with the TT group (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS These findings indicate that WBV-TT is more effective than TT for improving walking performance of patients with chronic stroke.