Localized muscle vibration in the treatment of motor impairment and spasticity in post-stroke patients: A systematic review

Christian Avvantaggiato, Roberto Casale, Nicoletta Cinone, Salvatore Facciorusso, Antonio Turitto, Lucia Stuppiello, Alessandro Picelli, Maurizio Ranieri, Domenico Intiso, Pietro Fiore, Chiara Ciritella, Andrea Santamato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


introduction: during the last decades, many studies have been carried out to understand the possible positive effects of vibration therapy in post-stroke rehabilitation. in particular, the use of localized muscle vibration (lMV) seems to have promising results. the aim of this systematic review was to describe the use of lMV in post-stroke patients to improve motor recovery, reducing spasticity and disability in both upper and lower limb. EVidEncE acQuisition: a search was conducted on pubMed, scopus, pedro and rEhabdata electronic database. only randomized controlled trials have been included, excluding no-localized vibratory treatments and other pathological conditions. fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in this review. EVidEncE synthEsis: collectively, the studies involved 425 stroke patients. Most studies included chronic stroke patients (ten) and treated only the upper limb (eleven). there is evidence that lMV therapy is effective in reducing spasticity and improving motor recovery, especially when associated with conventional physical therapy. conclusions: lMV may be a feasible and safe tool to be integrated into traditional and conventional neurorehabilitation programs for poststroke patients to reduce spasticity. analysis of the available clinical trials do not allow us to indicate vibration therapy as effective in functional motor recovery, despite some studies showed encouraging results. further studies, with larger size of homogeneous patients and with a shared methodology are needed to produce more reliable data, especially on the lower limb.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-60
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Muscle spasticity
  • Recovery of function
  • Stroke
  • Vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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