Whole Body Vibration Exercise for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Yulin Dong, Wu Wang, Jiejiao Zheng, Su Chen, Jun Qiao, Xueqiang Wang
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2019, 100 (11): 2167-2178

OBJECTIVE: This study systematically reviews previous work on the effects of whole body vibration exercise (WBVE) on pain associated with chronic musculoskeletal disorders.

DATA SOURCES: Seven electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Web of Science, Cochrane, Physiotherapy Evidence Database [PEDro], and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure) were searched for articles published between January 1980 and September 2018.

STUDY SELECTION: Randomized controlled trials involving adults with chronic low back pain (CLBP), osteoarthritis (OA), or fibromyalgia were included. Participants in the WBVE intervention group were compared with those in the nontreatment and non-WBVE control groups.

DATA EXTRACTION: Data were independently extracted using a standardized form. Methodological quality was assessed using PEDro.

DATA SYNTHESIS: Suitable data from 16 studies were pooled for meta-analysis. A random effects model was used to calculate between-groups mean differences at 95% confidence interval (CI). The data were analyzed depending on the duration of the follow-up, common disorders, and different control interventions.

RESULTS: Alleviation of pain was observed at medium term (standardized mean difference [SMD], -0.67; 95% CI, -1.14 to -0.21; I2 , 80%) and long term (SMD, -0.31; 95% CI, -0.59 to -0.02; I2 , 0%). Pain was alleviated in osteoarthritis (OA) (SMD, -0.37; 95% CI, -0.64 to -0.10; P<.05; I2 , 22%) and CLBP (SMD, -0.44; 95% CI, -0.75 to -0.13; P<.05; I2 , 12%). Long-term WBVE could relieve chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions of OA (SMD, -0.46; 95% CI, -0.80 to -0.13; P<.05; I2 , 0%). WBVE improved chronic musculoskeletal pain compared with the treatment "X" control (SMD, -0.37; 95% CI, -0.61 to -0.12; P<.05; I2 , 26%), traditional treatment control (SMD, -1.02; 95% CI, -2.44 to 0.4; P>.05; I2 , 94%) and no treatment control (SMD, -1; 95% CI, -1.76 to -0.24; P<.05; I2 , 75%).

CONCLUSIONS: Evidence suggests positive effects of WBVE on chronic musculoskeletal pain, and long durations of WBVE could be especially beneficial. However, WBVE does not significantly relieve chronic musculoskeletal pain compared with the traditional treatment. Further work is required to identify which parameters of WBVE are ideal for patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

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