Effects of low vs. high frequency local vibration on mild-moderate muscle spasticity: Ultrasonographical and functional evaluation in patients with multiple sclerosis

Fatma Ayvat, Levent Özçakar, Ender Ayvat, Sibel Aksu Yıldırım, Muhammed Kılınç
Multiple Sclerosis and related Disorders 2021 March 31, 51: 102930

BACKGROUND: Local vibration (LV) is a physiotherapy application that aims to reduce spasticity. The study aimed to compare the effects of 50 Hz vs. 100 Hz LV on mild-moderate spasticity, functional performance and muscle architecture.

METHODS: Thirty-three patients were randomly divided into three groups: 50 Hz LV group, 100 Hz LV group and the control group. Physical therapy was applied for one hour a day, three days a week, for a total of eight weeks. LV was applied to the right and left medial gastrocnemius muscles for five minutes. Clinical (spasticity, ankle joint position sense, balance, gait) and ultrasonographic (gastrocnemius fascicle length and pennation angle) measurements were performed before and after treatment.

RESULTS: The study was completed with 27 patients. The decrease in spasticity and the increase in fascicle length were found to be statistically significant in the 50 Hz group (both p<0.05). Ankle joint position sense, single-leg stance time, limits of stability/postural sway range in the medio-lateral direction significantly improved in the vibration treatment groups (all p<0.05). The antero-posterior limits of stability and postural sway showed significant improvement in all groups (all p<0.05). While the 50 Hz group showed significant improvement for all walking parameters; velocity, step length and base of support values improved in the 100 Hz group (all p<0.05). The exercise group showed significant improvement only for single support and stance phase percentages of the gait cycle (both p<0.05). According to between group comparisons, significant difference was found only in medio-lateral limits of stabillity (p<0.05). Medio-lateral limits of stabillity scores were better for the 50 Hz group than the 100 Hz and exercise group.

CONCLUSION: Our findings show that LV does not have any substantial effect except for medio-lateral limits of stability.


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