Children with cerebral palsy have altered muscle tone and reduced bone mass, which can lead to impaired mobility and function increasing their risk for osteopenia in later life.
Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the impact of 20 weeks of side-alternating vibration therapy on muscle and bone health in children with mild-moderate cerebral palsy. METHODS: Twelve participants (7.2±0.5 years; 6 females) were recruited to perform vibration therapy on a Galileo platform 9 minutes/day, 4 times/week at 20 Hz. Assessments included the six-minute walk test and whole-body and spine dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at baseline and after 20 weeks of intervention.
Results: Twenty weeks of vibration therapy increased the distance participants walked in the six-minute walk test by 13% (362 vs 410 m; P<0.001) with sustained reductions in the time taken to reach individual milestones. Over this time participants increased in height (+1.9 cm; P<0.001) and total body mass (+1.88 kg; P<0.001) with associated changes in fat mass (+0.83 g; P=0.013) and lean mass (+0.42 g; P<0.001). Importantly, bone mineral content increased in the total body (+63 g P=0.002), leg (+24 g; P<0.001), trunk (+23 g; P=0.034), pelvis (+10 g; P=0.011) and L1L4 spine (+1.15 g; P=0.001). Bone mineral density also increased in the total body (+0.013 g/cm2; P=0.003), leg (+0.027 g/cm2; P=0.005), trunk (+0.014 g/cm2; P=0.014), pelvis (+0.024 g/cm2; P<0.001) and L1L4 spine (+0.020 g/cm2; P=0.011) measures.
Conclusion: Twenty weeks of vibration therapy in mid childhood was associated with increased mobility. Overall growth, muscle mass, fat mass and bone density improved and there was no evidence of any deleterious effect of vibration therapy.
Disclosure: The authors declared no competing interests.