The Effects of WBV on Muscle Stiffness and Reflex Activity in Stroke.

2017-01-11 03:38:21 | BioPortfolio


Whole body vibration is an exercise modality that could modulate tissue blood perfusion and neural reflexes, and thus may have the potential to alter muscle stiffness through modulation of contractile properties or/and neurological adaptation. However, the potential effects of WBV on leg muscle stiffness in stroke rehabilitation remains unknown. The overall aim is to investigate the effects of whole body vibration (WBV) on leg muscle stiffness and Hoffman reflex (H-reflex) and to identify the optimal vibration parameters that may reduce leg muscle stiffness among people with stroke.


Muscle stiffness is common among stroke survivors. Leg muscle stiffness would hinder mobility and balance function of people with stroke. The whole body vibration is an exercise modality that may have beneficial effects in modulating neural reflex and tissue perfusion. Thus, it could alter muscle stiffness by modulating reflex activity or muscle contractile properties. However, the potential effects of WBV on leg muscle stiffness in stroke rehabilitation remains unknown. Scientific evidence is warranted to fill the knowledge gap.

Purpose This study aims to 1) to investigate effects of whole body vibration (WBV) on leg muscle stiffness and reflex activity among people with chronic stroke; 2) to identify the optimal vibration parameters that may reduce leg muscle stiffness.

Methods Individuals with chronic stroke will be recruited from community self-help groups and existing patient database. Relevant information (e.g. demographic information, medical history) will be obtained from medical records and subject interviews. Each subject will have to fulfill the following inclusion criteria: (1) diagnosis of chronic stroke, (2) community-dwelling, (3) able to follow simple verbal instructions. Exclusion criteria are: (1) other diagnoses of neurological conditions, (2) significant musculoskeletal conditions (e.g. amputations), (3) metal implants in the lower extremity or spine, (4) recent fracture in the lower extremity, (5) diagnosis of osteoporosis, (6) vestibular disorders, (7) peripheral vascular disease, and (11) other serious illnesses or contraindications to exercise.

This study will be repeated measures design. Subject will stand with knees flexed at 60° in the WBV platform which will generate three different vibration protocols (0Hz, 20Hz/2mm ,40Hz/1.2mm peak-peak amplitude). The duration of the vibration stimulation will be 90-second per protocol. Muscle elasticity or neural modulation will be measured before and after the vibration stimulation. Muscle elasticity will be measured using supersonic ultrasound elastography. Neural modulation will be measured as flexor carpi radicular (FCR) and soleus muscle H-reflex (H[max]/M[max]). Resting intervals will be provided in each session. All experiments should be completed in 4 separate days.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment




control, Low intensity whole body vibration, High intensity whole body vibration


Not yet recruiting


The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2017-01-11T03:38:21-0500

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