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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of tilt whole-body vibration (WBV) for improving dynamic balance in women with fibromyalgia (FM).

Methods

Forty-one women (ages 41–65 years) were randomly assigned to either a vibration (n = 21) or control (n = 20) group. The vibration intervention consisted of a 30-minute session of instruction plus 3 sessions of WBV per week over a period of 12 weeks. Each vibration session consisted of 6 repetitions of a 45–60-second 12.5-Hz vibration. The posture of the patient was lateral. Dynamic balance was assessed with a balance platform, and the level of stability could be controlled. We performed intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis and efficacy analysis in participants who completed the study (vibration, n = 18; control, n = 18).

Results

Based on ITT analysis, the dynamic balance of the vibration group improved by 36% as compared with baseline, whereas that of the control group was unchanged. Differences in the dynamic balance index were predicted (61%; P < 0.001) by the following linear model: (0.027 × body weight) − (0.800 × dynamic balance at baseline) − (0.632 × group).

Conclusion

The vibration program was useful and feasible for improving dynamic balance in women with FM. These novel results support further research aimed at the development of physical therapy programs that utilize controlled vibration.