Neurologic and Neuromuscular Disorders

Disorders associated with muscle weakness and neuromuscular/neurodegenerative diseases: (unilateral stroke patients, Parkinson’s disease, Cerebral Palsy, incomplete spinal cord injury, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis and Disuse atrophy after prolonged bed rest.)
Multiple Sclerosis:
          We have a large patient base that has shown excellent overall improvement in their neurologic function, although certainly not curative and there are individual variations depending on disease stage.  Vibration has been compared to TENS in patients with MS and is superior in the Sensory Organization Test and the Timed Get Up and Go test and Functional Reach Test.  Vibration has been remarkably effective in improving postural control and mobility in Multiple Sclerosis patients.  In our facility, patients are referred having failed other physical therapy techniques.  We have demonstrated improvements in balance, muscle strength and decreased pain, despite patients remaining on disease modifying agents.  We have measured these improvements using the Timed Get Up and Go Test as well as the Berg Balance Scale.
Disuse Atrophy after Prolonged Bed Rest:
            Vibration therapy prevents loss of muscle strength in patients in the Intensive Care Unit who cannot perform resistive exercise. It has also been shown to prevent the muscle atrophy experienced by astronauts on space missions.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis:
            Our anecdotal data on selected patients shows a significant slowing in the progress of muscle weakness.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury:
            Vibration increases the strength of 1a inhibition in individuals with incomplete spinal cord injuries and carries significant implications in the rehabilitation of these invidividuals who have failed other forms of physical therapy.
Parkinson’s disease:
            In patients with hemiplegia, Parkinson’s disease and myotonia, the TVR (Tonic Vibration Reflex) increases the strength in paretic muscles.  This TVR was elicited from limb muscles whether the muscle was normal, myotonic, or paretic.  This demonstrates for physical therapists that Vibration therapy is a safe, effective tool for facilitating voluntary muscle contractions in paretic muscles.  Vibration significantly increases the UPDRS (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale) motor score.
Cerebral Palsy
            Vibration therapy has been shown to decrease spasticity, improve gross motor function and increase muscle strength, without a negative effect on spasticity.
Unilateral Chronic Stroke Patients:
             The data show that postural control is improved in unilateral Chronic Stroke patients.  Muscle strength and improved neuromuscular adaptation occurs in Acute Stroke patients.