The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of whole body vibration (WBV) exercise on muscle strength and proprioception in female patients with osteoarthritis in the knee (knee-OA). A single blinded, randomised, controlled trial was performed in an outpatient clinic on 52 female patients diagnosed with knee-OA (mean age 60.4 years±9.6). They were randomly assigned to one of 3 groups: 1. WBV-exercise on a stable platform (VibM; n=17 (mean age, 61.5±9.2)), WBV-exercise on a balance board (VibF; n=18 (mean age, 58.7±11.0)), or control group (Con; n=18 (mean age, 61.1±8.5)).
The WBV groups trained twice a week for 8 weeks, with a progressively increasing intensity. The WBV groups performed unloaded static WBV exercise.
The following were measured: knee muscle strength (extension/flexion) and proprioception (threshold for detection of passive movement (TDPM)). Self-reported disease status was measured using WOMAC.
It was found that muscle strength increased significantly (p<0.001) in VibM compared to Con. Isometric knee-extension significantly increased (p=0.021) in VibM compared to Con. TDPM was significantly improved (p=0.033) in VibF compared to Con, while there was a tendency (p=0.051) for VibM to perform better compared to Con. There were no effects in the self-reported disease status measures.
This study showed that the WBV-exercise regime on a stable platform (VibM) yielded increased muscle strength, while the WBV-exercise on a balance board (VibF) showed improved TDPM. The WBV-exercise is a time-saving and safe method for rehabilitation of women with knee-OA.