Background/Purpose: As a result of spinal cord injury, there is a loss of bone mass that can eventually lead to osteoporotic fractures or fractures that occur from low impact activities. Whole-Body Vibration as an intervention for the prevention of bone loss has been studied in animals and human populations with conflicting results. The intent of this case study and evidence-based analysis is to assess whether WBV may be a useful intervention in those with spinal cord injuries in prevention of bone loss. Case Description: The patient is a 66 year old male with an acute American Spinal Injury Association Level A spinal cord injury at T5-7 suffered in a motorcycle accident in the late summer of 2012. Outcomes: The patient received education regarding safe transfers and awareness of lower extremity placement in order to help prevent low impact fractures stemming from transfers or falls from wheelchairs. WBV was researched in order to determine its effectiveness as a potential intervention to decrease bone loss in patients with spinal cord injury. Discussion: The evidence reviewed is inconclusive on the use of WBV as a preventative measure for osteoporosis in older female populations. However, there has been some encouraging research indicating that WBV coupled with resistance exercise decreases bone loss in males placed on bed rest which may give promise to other populations such as those with a spinal cord injury who experience bone loss secondary to immobilization. Furthermore, there is a wide range of vibration parameters that have been used in several studies thereby complicating the development of an effective not to mention safe protocol for its use in the clinical setting for the reduction of bone loss.
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spinal cord injury, whole-body vibration, bone loss, osteoporosis
Gaethje, Melissa. "Shake It, Dont Break It: Whole-Body Vibration as an Intervention for Bone Loss in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury'." (2014). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/dpt/40