Living With Polio

Effects of Whole Body Vibration on People with Post-Polio Syndrome

Carolyn P. Da Silva, PT, DSc, NCS, Texas Woman’s University, Houston, Texas, and Yi-Wen Michelle Pu, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

In 2013, Post-Polio Health International awarded its seventh research grant ($25,000) to lead researcher, Carolyn P. Da Silva, PT, DSc, NCS, Texas Woman’s University.

The study explored an important topic – exercise. Whole body vibration (WBV) is a way to exercise that causes muscle contractions through stimulation of reflexes. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of WBV as a means of weight-bearing exercise in people with PPS by assessing its effects on walking speed and endurance (measured by 10-meter walk test and two-minute walk test, respectively), pain severity and interference (measured by the Brief Pain Inventory), sleep quality (measured by the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index), fatigue (measured by the Fatigue Severity Scale), leg muscle strength (measured by manual muscle testing and hand-held dynamometry), and muscle cramping (through patient reported written logs).

The study was completed and the final report was published in Post-Polio Health, Volume 31, Number 3, 2015.

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