Document Type: Review Article
Department of Physical Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Whole body vibration (WBV) is a contemporary treatment modality that holds promise as an exercise training method in health–compromised individuals. A growing number of studies on individuals with Parkinson Disease are examining whether WBV improves balance and functional mobility. However, interpreting WBV studies is challenging since there is variability in the manner in which WBV intervention is conducted. The primary goal of this systematic review was to investigate the effect of WBV on improving mobility and balance as measured by a battery of clinical tests, in patients with Parkinson disease. Studies based on WBV parameters were characterized and a systematic search of peer-reviewed literature in five major databases was conducted. Randomized-controlled trials investigating the effects of WBV in patients with a Parkinson diagnosis and no cognitive impairment were included. A total of six publications met the inclusion criteria. Overall, studies demonstrated mixed results in favor of WBV for improving balance or mobility. The majority of studies seem to suggest a favorable benefit following WBV for mobility and balance, but not when compared to other active intervention or placebo. There was variability in the manner in which WBV intervention was applied. Variations among the six studies included: duration of intervention and rest, follow-up period, type of control groups, frequency of vibration, number of treatment sessions and sex distribution of subjects. Future research is needed to investigate the effects of different types of equipment and treatment dosage in individuals with Parkinson disease.