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J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact, 2013; 13(4): 442-53, PMID: 24292614

Effects of vibration on flexibility: a meta-analysis.

Year: 2013

Osawa Y, Oguma Y
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Exogenous stimulation of skeletal muscle or tendon is often used to improve range of motion. Despite substantial research efforts, however, the effects of vibration on flexibility have not been clarified. In this review, we investigated the effects of acute and chronic intervention programs which used vibration to improve flexibility in young healthy individuals. Effect size was calculated using data from a total of 600 participants in 19 studies before and after the introduction of vibration-based intervention, and a total of 324 participants in 13 studies on the additive effects of vibration compared with the identical conditions without vibration. Sub-group analyses were performed based on intervention period, type of exercise, and type of vibration. Meta-analysis showed that vibration interventions had significant effects on flexibility (standardized mean difference [SMD]=-0.79, 95% confidence interval [CI]=-1.14- -0.43; p<0.001), albeit with the possibility of heterogeneity (I(2)=75%). Another meta-analysis revealed a significant additive effect of vibration on flexibility compared with the identical condition without vibration (SMD=0.25, 95%CI=0.03-0.48; P=0.03), with small heterogeneity (I(2)=0%). The risk of publication bias was low judged from Kendall"s tau statistic. We concluded that the use of vibration might lead to additive improvements in flexibility.

Keywords: Metaanalysis
GID: 3421; Last update: 10.01.2014