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Post-Polio Health (ISSN 1066-5331)

Vol. 31, No. 3, Summer 2015


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

People with post-polio syndrome (PPS) frequently have difficulty finding ways to exercise without worsening symptoms or over-exerting muscles. 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 Participants
The study was approved by the human subjects Internal Review Boards of Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Woman’s University in Houston, Texas. Twenty-one individuals were recruited from the TIRR-Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation and Research outpatient post-polio clinic, Texas Polio Survivors’ Association and Post-Polio Health International. Each person provided medical clearance from their personal or TIRR physician.

Fifteen completed the study, with withdrawals due to non-study related reasons. Average age of the participants was 63.53 years, with average age at onset of polio 3.55 years. Nine females and six males completed the study.


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