Efficacy of whole-body
vibration board training on strength in athletes after anterior cruciate
ligament reconstruction: A randomized controlled study.
Cosimo C, Bertuletti S, and Romiti D. Clin J Sports Med. 2017. [Epub Ahead of Print].
Home Message: After an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, whole-body
vibration coupled with a rehabilitation protocol increases knee extensor and
flexor strength.
An ACL injury requires intensive
rehabilitation. However, best rehabilitation practices are still debated.
Recently, whole-body vibration (WBV) has shown some promise with increasing
neuromuscular efficiency but it has not been investigated as part of an ACL
rehabilitation protocol. Therefore, Cosimo and colleagues completed a
randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of WBV after an ACL
reconstruction among 38 female volleyball and basketball players (20 to 30
years old, active in sport for at least 6 years, only 1 ACL reconstruction
treated arthroscopically). The authors excluded people if they had a concomitant
ligament or meniscal injury, or had a previous injury or surgery to either
limb. All participants were initially treated with the same 13-week
rehabilitation protocol. At the beginning of week 13, participants were
randomly allocated to a WBV (2.5 mm of amplitude and 26 Hz of frequency) or
control group. All participants completed the same protocol; however, participants
in the control group performed exercises with the WBV platform off (thus no vibration). Treatment sessions then continued
in this manner for 8 weeks. The authors evaluated the participants using a Biodex isokinetic knee flexion and extension
strength test at the time of randomization (13 weeks post-surgery) and after 8
weeks of treatment. On average, participants treated with WBV had greater
strength gains than those in the control group.
The results of this study are important
because they suggest that WBV is a viable treatment option for patients
following ACL reconstruction. For clinicians that have access to a WBV training
system, an ACL rehabilitation protocol with WBV may be beneficial. For
clinicians who lack access to WBV training systems they may want to seek out
more information before deciding to implement this treatment or consider if
there are other rehab techniques that may be implemented. It will be interesting to see if WBV influences
other factors such as time to return to play or risk of re-injury. In the
meantime, WBV may be a nice complement to a traditional ACL rehabilitation
program for those with these systems. For everyone else, it remains unclear if
this study should convince you to buy a WBV system but it highlights another
benefit of these systems.
Questions for Discussion: Have you used WBV as a
modality? If so, when have you found this modality to be especially effective?
Written by: Kyle Harris
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Driban
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