Does Whole-Body Vibration Training Have a Concurrent Effect on Bone and Muscle Health? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Author: Christel Harijanto1,2, Anthony Lim1,2, Sara Vogrin1,3, Gustavo Duque1,2,3
1 Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS), Geroscience & Osteosarcopenia Research Program, The University of Melbourne and Western Health, St Albans, Victoria, Australia.
2 Melbourne Medical School, Western Precinct, The University of Melbourne, St Albans, Victoria, Australia.
3 Department of Medicine-Western Health, Melbourne Medical School, The University of Melbourne, St Albans, Victoria, Australia.
Conference/Journal: Gerontology
Date published: 2021 Nov 15
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1159/000519511. , Word Count: 284

Aging results in musculoskeletal disorders, which are a leading cause of disability worldwide. While conventional nonpharmacological treatments have included interventions such as resistance exercise, there are subgroups of people who may be at risk of exercise-related injuries, for example, falls. Whole-body vibration (WBV) is an intervention that helps improve musculoskeletal function and is viable for those with limited mobility.

Whether WBV has a dual effect on bone and muscle conditions remains unknown. We aim to assess the evidence of the effects of WBV on bone and muscle parameters concurrently in older people.

Under Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis guidelines, a systematic literature search was performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, EMCARE, and the Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials. The main outcomes were changes in bone and muscle parameters.

Our meta-analysis showed that WBV does not have significant synergistic effects on measured bone (bone mineral density [BMD] in the hip and lumbar spine) and muscle (lean muscle mass and sit-to-stand time) outcomes, compared to controls (i.e., no WBV included).

While there were no significant results, the included studies are limited by small sample size and variable intervention protocols and follow-up periods. Further trials should endeavor to measure both bone and muscle outcomes concurrently with a longer follow-up time. Osteoporosis status in participants must also be considered as it is not yet possible to exclude that WBV may have a significant effect on BMD in people with known osteoporosis. WBV does not appear to simultaneously influence bone and muscle health in older people, and future research is required to establish a regimen that may lead to measurable clinical efficacy.

Keywords: Bone; Exercise; Muscle; Osteosarcopenia; Whole-body vibration.

PMID: 34781288 DOI: 10.1159/000519511