Do whole body vibration exercises affect lower limbs neuromuscular activity in populations with a medical condition? A systematic review


The use of surface electromyography (sEMG) to evaluate muscle activation when executing whole body vibration exercises (WBVE) in studies provide neuromuscular findings, in healthy and diseased populations.


Perform a systematic review of the effects of WBVE by sEMG of lower limbs in non-healthy populations.


The search using the defined keywords was performed in PubMed, PEDRo and EMBASE databases by three independent researchers. Applying the PRISMA statement several studies were selected according to eligibility criteria and organized for the review. Full papers were included if they described effects of WBVE for the treatment of illnesses, evaluated by sEMG of lower limbs independently on the year of the publication; in comparison or associated with other treatment and evaluation techniques.


Seven publications were selected; two in spinal cord injury patients, one in Friedreich’s ataxia patients, three in stroke patients and one study in breast cancer survivors. Reported effects of WBV in were muscle activation by sEMG and also on strength, blood flow and exercise resistance; even in paretic limbs.


By the use of sEMG it was verified that WBVE elicits muscle activation in diseased population. These results may lead to the definition of exercise protocols to maintain or increase muscular activation. However, due to the heterogeneity of methods among studies, there is currently no consensus on the sEMG signal processing. These strategies might also induce effects on muscle strength, balance and flexibility in these and other illnesses.

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