The following is the summary of “Vibration therapy in young children with mild to moderate cerebral palsy: does frequency and treatment duration matter? A randomised-controlled study”  published in the January 2023 issue of Pediatrics by Adaikina, et al.

Research into the effectiveness of vibration therapy (VT) effectiveness for children with cerebral palsy (CP) has increased in recent years, although optimum therapeutic VT protocols have yet to be established. For this analysis, researchers looked at the outcomes of different side-alternating VT procedures for treating children with mild to moderate CP. A total of 34 CP patients, ranging in age from 6 to 12 years old, served as their own controls throughout the course of the study, which consisted of 2 phases: a 12-week lead-in (control) phase immediately preceding a 20-week intervention phase of side-alternating VT (9 minutes per session, 4 times per week), with the frequency set at either 20 Hz or 25 Hz by randomization. Participants were evaluated at the beginning of the study, at the end of the control period, after 12 weeks of VT (12VT), and again 8 weeks later (20VT). 

The participants were evaluated using a battery of tests that included the 6-minute walk test (6MWT), dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, gross motor function, measurement of muscle function using the Leonardo mechanography plate and by hand-held dynamometry, and a quality-of-life questionnaire (CP QOL). The data were analyzed with linear mixed models for repeated measures. Side-alternating Despite some reports of slight itching, VT was generally well tolerated. The average degree of conformity was 99%. Increases in 6MWT (+23 m; P=0.007 after 20VT), gross motor function in standing skills (+ 0.8 points; P=0.008 after 12VT; and + 1.3 points; P=0.001 after 20VT) and in walking, running and jumping skills (+ 2.5 points; P<0.0001 after 12VT; and + 3.7 points; P<0.0001 after 20VT), spine bone mineral density z-score (+ 0.14; P=0.015 after 20VT), velocity rise maximum of the chair rising test (+ 0.14 m/s; P=0.021 after 20VT), force maximum of the single 2-leg jump test (+ 0.30 N/kg; P=0.0005 after 12VT; and + 0.46 N/kg; P=0.022 after 20VT) and in the health module of CP QOL (+ 7 points; p = 0.0095 after 20VT). 

There were no observed differences between the 2 VT frequencies (i.e., 20 Hz vs. 25 Hz) on study outcomes. Regardless of the VT frequencies studied, the study demonstrates that side-alternating VT improves mobility, gross motor performance, body composition, muscle function, and quality of life. About 20 weeks of treatment (VT) appears to be more effective than 12 weeks of treatment (VT).