Whole Body Vibrational Therapy
Why we use whole body Vibration Therapy at TFK
At TFK I am always searching for new tools to add to our therapy toolbox so that therapists can challenge themselves to provide the best possible therapy to your child. We always attempt to push the limits so that we can help every child achieve their full potential. We have 2 vibration plates in use at TFK. We have been using the Gallileo Vibration Plate for the past 10 years to reduce spasticity and to develop core stability. Recently we added the Hypervibe Vibration Plate to all clinics because in addition to the up & down vibration it provides sideways vibration. This vibration stimulates both the motor and sensory systems and facilitates the acquisition of weight shift which is necessary for crawling and walking. In addition, the compact Hypervibe platform can be easily moved and used in both the Spider Cage and Harness Systems when we need the additional support of a partial supported weight bearing system.
Benefits of Whole Body Vibration Therapy (WBVT)
At TFK we use evidence based therapy and there is an increasing body of research into the effects of WBVT on Cerebral Palsy. This research can be applied to treating other neurological conditions. The research has looked into the short and long term effects of WBVT. These are :
- Postural Control & Balance – the research showed increased postural stability which is thought to be due to the activation of the proprioceptive sensory receptors in joints, which tell us where we are in space.
- Muscle Strengthening – muscles thicken with prolonged use of WBVT and there is a corresponding increase in power in the muscles that are targeted. In the Cerebral Palsy population there was also shown to be an increase in how long a child could keep their head upright.
- Spasticity – it has been noted that spasticity reduces, particularly in the planter flexors, if used in standing and it is proposed that stimulation decreases the stretch reflex. As spasticity is present in approx. 80% of people with Cerebral Palsy, this tool is very useful in our practice. Toe walking is a response to spasticity and if this decreases, walking stability improves.
- Core Stability – a study looking at core stability found an improvement in balance in children with Cerebral Palsy. The improvement in muscle strength and muscle power improves functional balance.
- Mobility – the ability to transition alignment, decreased spasticity, core strengthening and improved balance all contribute to improved mobility as shown in studies looking at walking speed, step length and walking distance.
Who is Whole Body Vibration Therapy suitable for?
The research has been specifically focused on children with Cerebral Palsy but we have found it benefits many of the neurodiverse population of children who attend TFK. It is used for strengthening in the children who attend with injuries from sport, across to children who need support in the harness
When do we use Whole Body Vibration Therapy?
Further reading :