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Acute Neuromuscular Modulation Enhances Postural Control after Whole-Body Vibration

Year: 2019

Krause A, Ritzmann R, Lee K, Freyler K, Gollhofer A
UNIVERSITY OF FREIBURG, Department for Sports and Sport Science, Freiburg, Germany


The postural movement control determines performance of almost any kind of human movement. The current study aimed to investigate whether a short bout of whole-body vibration (WBV) can improve postural control. Effects were compared to a conventional balance training (BAL). › During an instable one-legged stance, postural control was assessed in 22 healthy subjects before and after 2-min bouts of either WBV or BAL. Postural sway, antagonist co-contraction of selected lower limb muscles (soleus, gastrocnemius medialis, tibialis anterior, rectus femoris, biceps femoris) and soleus spinal excitability (H-reflexes) were recorded by means of posturography and electromyography, respectively. › Postural sway was significantly reduced after WBV (p<.05). After both interventions, a reduction of H-reflexes (WBV -31%, BAL -14%, p<.05), M-waves (WBV -22%, BAL -19%, p<.05) as well as shank muscle co-contraction was observed (WBV up to -18%, BAL up to -20%, p<.05). Thigh muscle co-contraction was only diminished after BAL (-17%, p<.05). Postural sway changes correlated positively with reflex amplitude changes (p<.05). › Thus, greater inhibition in spinal excitability (after WBV), but not diminished thigh muscle co-contraction (after BAL) are accompanied by postural sway reduction. With the benefit of being (task-) unspecific and easy to apply, WBV represents a possible intervention to improve postural control.

Keywords: Postural Control, Balance, Leonardo
GID: 4838; Last update: 05.02.2019
More information: Original Article