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Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2021; 53(2): 375-383, PMID: 32826637

Whole-Body Vibration Stimulates Microvascular Blood Flow in Skeletal Muscle.

Year: 2021

Betik AC, Parker L, Kaur G, Wadley GD, Keske MA
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.


PURPOSE: Whole-body vibration therapy (WBV) has been reported to potentially act as an exercise mimetic by improving muscle function and exercise capacity in a variety of healthy and clinical populations. Considering the important role that microvascular blood flow plays in muscle metabolism and exercise capacity, we investigated the muscle microvascular responses of acute WBV to knee extension exercise (KEX) in healthy individuals. METHODS: Eleven healthy adults (age: 33 +/- 2 years; body mass index: 23.6 +/- 1.1 kg/m) underwent 3 min of WBV, or 3 min of KEX at 25% of 1-repetition maximum, in a randomised order separated by a minimum of one week. Femoral arterial blood flow was measured via Doppler ultrasound and thigh muscle microvascular blood flow was measured via contrast enhanced ultrasound at baseline and throughout the 3-min post-intervention recovery period. RESULTS: Both WBV and KEX significantly increased peak microvascular blood flow (WBV: 5.6-fold; KEX: 21-fold; both P <0.05) during the 3-min recovery period. Despite a similar increase in femoral arterial blood flow (~4-fold; both P<0.05 versus baseline) and whole-body oxygen consumption measured by indirect calorimetry (WBV: 48%; KEX: 60%, both P<0.05 versus baseline) in both conditions, microvascular blood flow was stimulated to a greater extent after KEX. CONCLUSION: A single 3-min session of WBV in healthy individuals is sufficient to significantly enhance muscle microvascular blood flow. Despite KEX providing a more potent stimulus, WBV may be an effective method for improving microvascular blood flow in populations reported to exhibit microvascular dysfunction such as patients with type 2 diabetes.

GID: 5169; Last update: 24.08.2020