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Whole-Body Vibration Therapy for Osteoporosis: State of the Science

Andrea Wysocki, MPP; Mary Butler, MBA, PhD; Tatyana Shamliyan, MD, MS; and Robert L. Kane, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Minnesota Evidence-based Practice Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions of this report are those of the authors, who are responsible for its contents; the findings and conclusions do not necessarily represent the view of AHRQ. Therefore, no statement in this report should be construed as an official position of AHRQ or of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Financial Support: This project was conducted by the Minnesota Evidence-based Practice Center under contract to AHRQ (contract HHSA 2 902 007 100 641).

Potential Conflicts of Interest: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M11-1686.

Requests for Single Reprints: Robert L. Kane, MD, Minnesota Evidence-based Practice Center, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, 420 Delaware Street SE, MMC 197 Mayo, Minneapolis, MN 55455; e-mail, kanex001@umn.edu.

Current Author Addresses: Ms. Wysocki and Drs. Butler, Shamliyan, and Kane: Minnesota Evidence-based Practice Center, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, 420 Delaware Street SE, MMC 197 Mayo, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: A. Wysocki, M. Butler, R.L. Kane.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: A. Wysocki, M. Butler, R.L. Kane.

Drafting of the article: A. Wysocki, M. Butler, T. Shamliyan.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: A. Wysocki, M. Butler, T. Shamliyan.

Final approval of the article: A. Wysocki, M. Butler, T. Shamliyan, R.L. Kane.

Obtaining of funding: R.L. Kane.

Administrative, technical, or logistic support: A. Wysocki, R.L. Kane.

Collection and assembly of data: A. Wysocki, M. Butler.

Ann Intern Med. 2011;155(10):680-686. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-155-10-201111150-00006
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Clinical guidelines for osteoporosis recommend dietary and pharmacologic interventions and weight-bearing exercise to prevent bone fractures. These interventions sometimes have low adherence and can cause adverse effects. A proposed alternative or adjunctive treatment is whole-body vibration therapy (WBV), in which energy produced by a forced oscillation is transferred to an individual from a mechanical vibration platform. Whole-body vibration platforms are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for medical purposes. This review provides a broad overview of important issues related to WBV therapy for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Relying on key informants and a search of the gray and published literature from January 2000 to August 2011, the investigators found that the designs of WBV platforms and protocols for their use vary widely. The optimal target population for the therapy is not defined. Although WBV has some theoretical advantages, key informants have voiced several concerns, including uncertain safety and potential consumer confusion between low-intensity vibration platforms intended for osteoporosis therapy and high-intensity platforms intended for exercise. Finally, the scant literature did not establish whether WBV therapy leads to clinically important increases in bone mineral density or reduces risk for fracture.


Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1.
Low-intensity whole-body vibration platform.

The Juvent 1000 platform. Photograph courtesy of Juvent, Dynamic Motion Therapy, Somerset, New Jersey.

Grahic Jump Location
Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2.
Whole-body vibration platform that produces side-alternating vibration.

The Osci Health platform. Image courtesy of Health Mark, Acworth, Georgia.

Grahic Jump Location




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