Effectiveness of whole body vibration with physical therapy for spasticity and gait in children with cerebral palsy: a meta-analysis

Whole body vibration has been and intervention that has been gaining popularity as a physical therapy intervention. Children with cerebral palsy can have multiple limitation due to spasticity leading to secondary impairments. Articles within this meta-analysis were used to determine if whole body vibration with physical therapy intervention could decrease spasticity in the lower extremities in children with cerebral palsy. Additional articles were also reviewed to determine if a decrease in spasticity occurred, gait speed would improve. Based on the combined effects of 6 articles, spasticity was decreased in general amongst lower extremity musculature however gait speed was not improved. Spasticity reduction in knee extensors and plantar flexors were not found to be significant. Although findings determining if WBV with PT intervention can decrease spasticity in children with CP were not significant, all combined effects favored that of WBV with PT intervention. Other factors such as frequency that participants are exposed to as well as the total length of exposed time to WBV may be additional factors that can influence spasticity.