Muscle focal vibration in healthy subjects: evaluation of the effects on upper limb motor performance measured using a robotic device

Irene Aprile, Enrica Di Sipio, Marco Germanotta, Chiara Simbolotti, Luca Padua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Muscle vibration is a technique that applies a low-amplitude/high-frequency vibratory stimulus to a specific muscle using a mechanical device. The aim of this study was to evaluate, using robot-based outcomes, the effects of focal muscle vibration, at different frequencies, on the motor performance of the upper limb in healthy subjects. Methods: Forty-eight volunteer healthy subjects (age: 31 ± 8 years) were enrolled. Subjects were assigned to three different groups: the first group, in which subjects underwent muscle vibration treatment with a frequency of 100 Hz; the second group of subjects underwent the same treatment protocol, but using a frequency of vibration of 200 Hz; finally, the control group did not undergo any treatment. The robot-based evaluation session consisted of visually guided reaching task, performed in the sagittal plane. Results: Our results showed that the vibration treatment improved upper limb motor performance of healthy subjects from the baseline (T0) to 10 days after the end of the treatment (T2), but only the group treated with a frequency of 200 Hz reached statistical significance. Specifically, in this group we found an increase of the number of repetitions (T0: 51.4 ± 22.7; T2: 66.3 ± 11.8), and the smoothness of the movement, as showed by a decrease of the Normalized Jerk (T0: 10.5 ± 2.8; T2: 7.7 ± 0.5). Conclusion: The results of our study support the use of focal muscle vibration protocols in healthy subjects, to improve motor performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 27 2016

Keywords

  • Healthy subjects
  • Muscle focal vibration
  • Reaching task
  • Robot-mediated evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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