effect of vibratory stimuli on quadriceps function in healthy adults

DN, Pietrosimone B, Lewek MD, Ryan ED, Weinhold PS, Lee DR, & Blackburn
T.  Muscle
& Nerve
. Published Online First: February 13, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/mus.25081

Take Home Message: Local or whole body vibration treatments
increase quadriceps function similarly. 
Vibration therapy can be a tool to facilitate strengthening protocols.

techniques (local and whole body) increase quadriceps function immediately
after application.  However, it is
unclear how long these improvements last among healthy individuals.  It would be ideal if these benefits lasted
long enough to allow someone to complete an exercise program. The authors of
this study compared the effects of whole body and local muscle vibration on
quadriceps function in healthy individuals and assessed how long changes would
persist.  The authors recruited 60
healthy and recreationally active individuals. Baseline measures included peak
torque, maximal voluntary isometric contraction, central activation ratio,
corticomotor excitability, and spinal motorneuron excitability.  The authors randomized
the 60 participants to whole body vibration, local muscle vibration, or a
control intervention group.  Both
vibration groups received similar bouts of vibration therapy with their knee
flexed to about 60 degrees.  The local
vibration was applied on the quadriceps tendon. The control group stood on the
whole body vibration platform but received no vibration. To collect all of
these measurements, the participants attended 3 sessions, which were 1 week
apart. The authors randomized the type of measurements collected in each
session. Baseline measures were reassessed immediately post-intervention, and
at 10 and 20 minutes post-intervention.  Immediately
post-intervention, participants who received whole body vibration had increased
peak torque and central activation ratios. Furthermore, both vibration groups
had greater EMG increases immediately vibration groups compared with the
control group.  Corticomotor excitability
was enhanced immediately post whole body vibration and persisted up to 20
minutes post intervention; however, these post-intervention measures were not
different than the control group.  Among
participants who received local vibration, a similar pattern was found for one
measurement of corticomotor excitability (active motor threshold). There were
no differences between whole body and local muscle vibration. 

body and local muscle vibration increased quadriceps function in a healthy
population, and some of these changes may persist as far as 20 minutes
post-treatment – although these extended benefits were not different than the
control group.  The benefits may be
related to changes in corticomotor excitability instead of spinal motorneuron
excitability. It would be interesting to see if treatment duration effects how
long the improvements persist.  Clinicians
can incorporate vibration therapy to enhance strengthening during
rehabilitation or training.  The
convenient findings about this study are that there were no differences between
the local muscle and whole body vibration groups.  Oftentimes whole body vibration units are
expensive; hence, local muscle vibration may provide a more cost-feasible
option.  It would be interesting to see
if the findings would be similar in individuals who have suffered a knee injury
and have diminished quadriceps function. 
Vibration therapy is an option that clinicians should remember when
looking to improve quadriceps function to assist in strengthening. 

for Discussion:  Are you currently using any
type of vibration therapy as a complement to your treatment or strengthening
protocol?  What are other options that
you have utilized to assist in facilitating quadriceps activation?

Nicole Cattano
by: Jeffrey Driban


Pamukoff, D., Pietrosimone, B., Lewek, M., Ryan, E., Weinhold, P., Lee, D., & Blackburn, J. (2016). Immediate effect of vibratory stimuli on quadriceps function in healthy adults Muscle & Nerve DOI: 10.1002/mus.25081