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Whole-Body Vibration Combined with Treadmill Training Improves Walking Performance in Post-Stroke Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Wonjae Choi, Donghun Han, Junesun Kim, Seungwon Lee

Department of Physical Therapy, The Graduate School of Sahmyook University, Seoul, South Korea

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:4918-4925

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.904474

Available online:

Published: 2017-10-14

BACKGROUND: Stroke is characterized by an asymmetrical gait pattern that causes poor stability and reduces overall activity levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of whole-body vibration combined with treadmill training (WBV-TT) on walking performance in patients with chronic stroke.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Thirty ambulatory chronic stroke patients were randomly allocated to the WBV-TT group or the treadmill training (TT) group. The participants in the WBV-TT group performed 6 types of exercises on a vibrating platform for 4.5 minutes and then walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes. The participants in the TT group conducted the same exercise on a platform without vibration and then walked on the treadmill in the same manner. The vibration lasted for 45 seconds in each exercise, and the intervention was performed 3 times weekly for 6 weeks. The treadmill walking speed was gradually increased by 5% in both groups. The outcome measures included the temporospatial parameter of gait (GAITRite®) and 6-minute walk test.
RESULTS: The WBV-TT group showed significant improvements in walking performance with respect to walking speed, cadence, step length, stride length, single-limb support, double-limb support, and 6-minute walk test compared with baseline (p<0.05). Significant improvements were also seen in walking speed, step length, stride length, and double-limb support compared with the TT group (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that WBV-TT is more effective than TT for improving walking performance of patients with chronic stroke.

Keywords: Rehabilitation, Stroke, Vibration, Walking