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Aust J Physiother., 2005; 51(4): 259-63, PMID: 16321133

The effect of weight-bearing exercise with low frequency, whole body vibration on lumbosacral proprioception: a pilot study on normal subjects

Year: 2005

Fontana TL, Richardson CA, Stanton WR
School of Health and Rehabilitation Science, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia.


Patients with low back pain (LBP) often present with impaired proprioception of the lumbopelvic region. For this reason, proprioception training usually forms part of the rehabilitation protocols. New exercise equipment that produces whole body, low frequency vibration (WBV) has been developed to improve muscle function, and reportedly improves proprioception. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether weightbearing exercise given in conjunction with WBV would affect lumbosacral position sense in healthy individuals. For this purpose, twenty-five young individuals with no LBP were assigned randomly to an experimental or control group. The experimental group received WBV for five minutes while holding a static, semi-squat position. The control group adopted the same weightbearing position for equal time but received no vibration. A two-dimensional motion analysis system measured the repositioning accuracy of pelvic tilting in standing. The experimental (WBV) group demonstrated a significant improvement in repositioning accuracy over time (mean 0.78 degrees) representing 39% improvement. It was concluded that WBV may induce improvements in lumbosacral repositioning accuracy when combined with a weightbearing exercise. Future studies with WBV should focus on evaluating its effects with different types of exercise, the exercise time needed for optimal outcomes, and the effects on proprioception deficits in LBP patients.

GID: 386; Last update: 04.12.2007