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Whole-body vibration alters blood flow velocity and neuromuscular activity in Friedreich's ataxia.

date: 2011 Mar;31(2):139-44.
author: Herrero AJ1, Martín J, Martín T, García-López D, Garatachea N, Jiménez B, Marín PJ.
publication: Clin Physiol Funct Imaging.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of wholebody vibration (WBV) on blood flow velocity and muscular activity after different vibration protocols in Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) patients. After two familiarization sessions ten patients received six 3 min WBV treatments depending on a combination of frequency (10, 20 or 30 Hz) and protocol (constant or fragmented). Femoral artery blood flow velocity, vastus lateralis (VL) and vastus medialis (VM) electromyography (EMG), and rate of perceived exertion were registered. Peak blood velocity was increased with respect to basal values after 1, 2 and 3 min of WBV (14·8%, 18·8% and 19·7%, respectively, P<0·001). Likewise, mean blood velocity was increased with respect to basal values after 1, 2 and 3 min of WBV (17·3%, 19·4% and 16·6%, respectively, P<0·001). EMG amplitude of VL and VM was increased (39% and 23%, respectively, P<0·05) and EMG frequencies decreased during the application of WBV. The results of this study suggest that higher frequencies (30 Hz) produce a greater increase in blood flow velocity and rate of perceived exertion. WBV is an effective method to increase blood flow and to activate muscle mass in patients with Friedreich’s ataxia, and could therefore be considered to be incorporated in rehabilitation programs of this collective.


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A systematic review of supported standing programs

date: 2010;3(3):197-213. doi: 10.3233/PRM-2010-0129.
author: Glickman LB1, Geigle PR, Paleg GS.
publication: J Pediatr Rehabil Med.


The routine clinical use of supported standing in hospitals, schools and homes currently exists. Questions arise as to the nature of the evidence used to justify this practice. This systematic review investigated the available evidence underlying supported standing use based on the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) Levels of Evidence framework.


The database search included MEDLINE, CINAHL, GoogleScholar, HighWire Press, PEDro, Cochrane Library databases, and APTAs Hooked on Evidence from January 1980 to October 2009 for studies that included supported standing devices for individuals of all ages, with a neuromuscular diagnosis. We identified 112 unique studies from which 39 met the inclusion criteria, 29 with adult and 10 with pediatric participants. In each group of studies were user and therapist survey responses in addition to results of clinical interventions.


The results are organized and reported by The International Classification of Function (ICF) framework in the following categories: b4: Functions of the cardiovascular, haematological, immunological, and respiratory systems; b5: Functions of the digestive, metabolic, and endocrine systems; b7: Neuromusculoskeletal and movement related functions; Combination of d4: Mobility, d8: Major life areas and Other activity and participation. The peer review journal studies mainly explored using supported standers for improving bone mineral density (BMD), cardiopulmonary function, muscle strength/function, and range of motion (ROM). The data were moderately strong for the use of supported standing for BMD increase, showed some support for decreasing hypertonicity (including spasticity) and improving ROM, and were inconclusive for other benefits of using supported standers for children and adults with neuromuscular disorders. The addition of whole body vibration (WBV) to supported standing activities appeared a promising trend but empirical data were inconclusive. The survey data from physical therapists (PTs) and participant users attributed numerous improved outcomes to supported standing: ROM, bowel/bladder, psychological, hypertonicity and pressure relief/bedsores. BMD was not a reported benefit according to the user group.


There exists a need for empirical mechanistic evidence to guide clinical supported standing programs across practice settings and with various-aged participants, particularly when considering a life-span approach to practice.

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Thirty-Degree Prone Positioning Board for Children with Gastroesophageal Reflux: Suggestion from the Field

date: 1984 Aug;64(8):1240-1.
author:Bubenko S, Flesch P, Kollar C.
publication: Phys Ther



This excerpt was created in the absence of an abstract.

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) or chalasia in infants can be defined simply as the regurgitation of gastric contents from the abdominal stomach into the thoracic esophagus.1 Chief among its clinical manifestations is recurrent emesis during and after feedings.1,2 This symptom is present in up to 95 percent of reported cases.2 In addition, any or all of the following disorders may be present: anemia, failure to thrive, nocturnal wheeze or cough, recurrent pneumonia because of aspiration, recurrent bronchitis, near-miss sudden infant death syndrome, and abnormal head positioning (Sandifer syndrome).1,2

An important aspect of the treatment regimen for these patients is positioning during and after feeding. Numerous reports in the literature suggest an upright posture in an infant seat at 45 to 60 degrees after feeding will decrease the incidence of GER.3 Other references suggest a prone posture at 30 degrees after feeding will also decrease the incidence of GER in infants.2,4,5

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Cardiac output and blood pressure during active and passive standing.

date: 03/16/1996
author: Tanaka H, Sjöberg BJ, Thulesius O.
publication: Clin Physiol. 1996 Mar;16(2):157-70.
pubmed_ID: 8964133
The present study compared the haemodynamic pattern of active and passive standing. We used non-invasive techniques with beat-to-beat evaluation of blood pressure, heart rate and stroke volume. Seven healthy subjects, aged 24-41 (mean 30) years were examined. Finger blood pressure was continuously recorded by volume clamp technique (Finapres), and simultaneous beat-to-beat beat stroke volume was obtained, using an ultrasound Doppler technique, from the product of the valvular area and the aortic flow velocity time integral in the ascending aorta from the suprasternal notch. Measurements were performed at rest, during active standing and following passive tilt (60 degrees). Active standing caused a transient but greater reduction of blood pressure and a higher increase of heart rate than passive tilt during the first 30s (delta mean blood pressure: -39 +/- 10 vs. -16 +/- 7 mmHg, delta heart rate: 35 +/- 8 vs. 12 +/- 7 beats m-1 (active standing vs. passive tilt; P < 0.01). There was a significantly larger increase in cardiac output during active standing (37 +/- 24 vs. 0 +/- 15%, P < 0.01) and a more marked decrease in total peripheral resistance (-58 +/- 11 vs. -16 +/- 17%, P < 0.01). A precipitous rise in intra-abdominal pressure (43 +/- 22 mmHg) could be observed upon rising only in active standing. This was interpreted as an indication of translocation of blood to the thorax. There was no significant difference in haemodynamic changes during the later stage of standing (1-7 min) between both manoeuvres. These results suggest that active standing causes a marked blood pressure reduction in the initial phase which seems to reflect systemic vasodilatation caused by activation of cardiopulmonary baroreflexes, probably due to a rapid shift of blood from the splanchnic vessels in addition to the shift from muscular vessels associated with abdominal and calf muscle contraction. Moreover, the ultrasound Doppler technique was found to be a more adequate method for rapid beat-to-beat evaluation of cardiac output during orthostatic manoeuvres.

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Cerebrovascular and cardiovascular responses to graded tilt in patients with autonomic failure.

date: 09/28/1997
author: Bondar RL, Dunphy PT, Moradshahi P, Kassam MS, Blaber AP, Stein F, Freeman R.
publication: Stroke. 1997 Sep;28(9):1677-85.
pubmed_ID: 9303009
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Patients with autonomic nervous system failure often experience symptoms of orthostatic intolerance while standing. It is not known whether these episodes are caused primarily by a reduced ability to regulate arterial blood pressure or whether changes in cerebral autoregulation may also be implicated. METHODS: Eleven patients and eight healthy age- and sex-matched control subjects were studied during a graded-tilt protocol. Changes in their steady state middle cerebral artery mean flow velocities (MFV), measured by transcranial Doppler, brain-level mean arterial blood pressures (MABPbrain), and the relationship between the two were assessed. RESULTS: Significant differences between patients and control subjects (P < .05) were found in both their MFV and MABPbrain responses to tilt. Patients’ MFV dropped from 60 +/- 10.2 cm/s in the supine position to 44 +/- 14.0 cm/s at 60 degrees head-up tilt, whereas MABPbrain fell from 109 +/- 11.7 to 42 +/- 16.9 mm Hg. By comparison, controls’ MFV dropped from 54 +/- 7.8 cm/s supine to 51 +/- 8.8 cm/s at 60 degrees, whereas MABPbrain went from 90 +/- 11.2 to 67 +/- 8.2 mm Hg. Linear regression showed no significant difference in the MFV-MABPbrain relationship between patients and control subjects, with slopes of 0.228 +/- 0.09 Hg-1 for patients and 0.136 +/- 0.16 Hg-1 for control subjects. CONCLUSIONS: The present study found significant differences between patients and control subjects in their MFV and MABPbrain responses to tilt but no difference in the autoregulatory MFV-MABPbrain relationship. These results suggest that patients’ decreased orthostatic tolerance may primarily be the result of impaired blood pressure regulation rather than a deficiency in cerebral autoregulation.

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Standing with the assistance of a tilt table improves minute ventilation in chronic critically ill patients.

date: 12/01/2004
author: Chang AT, Boots RJ, Hodges PW, Thomas PJ, Paratz JD.
publication: Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004 Dec;85(12):1972-6.
pubmed_ID: 15605335

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of standing with assistance of the tilt table on ventilatory parameters and arterial blood gases in intensive care patients. DESIGN: Consecutive sample. SETTING: Tertiary referral hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Fifteen adult patients who had been intubated and mechanically ventilated for more than 5 days (3 subjects successfully weaned, 12 subjects being weaned). INTERVENTION: Passive tilting to 70 degrees from the horizontal for 5 minutes using a tilt table. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Minute ventilation (VE), tidal volume (VT), respiratory rate, and arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) and carbon dioxide (PaCO2). RESULTS: Standing in the tilted position for 5 minutes produced significant increases in VE (P <.001) and produced both increases in respiratory rate (P <.001) and VT (P =.016) compared with baseline levels. These changes were maintained during the tilt intervention and immediately posttilt. Twenty minutes after the tilt, there were no significant changes in ventilatory measures of VE, VT, or arterial blood gases PaO2 and PaCO2 compared with initial values. CONCLUSIONS: Standing for 5 minutes with assistance of a tilt table significantly increased ventilation in critical care patients during and immediately after the intervention. There were no improvements in gas exchange posttilt. Using a tilt table provided an effective method to increase ventilation in the short term.

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Effect of dynamic weight bearing on neuromuscular activation after spinal cord injury.

date: 06/01/2007
author: Edwards LC, Layne CS.
publication: Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 Jun;86(6):499-506.
pubmed_ID: 17515690

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether individuals who have a spinal cord injury have neuromuscular and physiologic responses to a personalized exercise program during dynamic weight bearing (DWB). DESIGN: Four subjects with spinal cord injuries (T6, T5-6, C2-5, and C5) completed a 12-wk exercise program that included DWB. Surface electromyography (EMG) was recorded from the right gastrocnemius, biceps femoris, rectus femoris, rectus abdominus, and external oblique. Heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) were recorded throughout training. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. RESULTS: The results of this study indicate that the subjects actively responded to exercise during DWB, as measured by EMG, HR, and BP. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that exercise during DWB can induce physiologic and neuromuscular responses in individuals who have a spinal cord injury, and that exercise during DWB may serve as a preparatory program for more advanced rehabilitation.

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Orthostasis and transcapillary fluid shifts.

date: 01/01/1995
author: Hinghofer-Szalkay HG.
publication: J Gravit Physiol. 1995;2(1):P131-3.
pubmed_ID: 11538896

Postural blood volume changes aggravate the regulation of arterial blood pressure and perfusion vis-a-vis the hydrostatic effects of orthostasis, ie, blood pooling below the hydrostatic indifferent points and reduced cardiac preload. Corresponding problems surface with extended passive standing, particularly in highly trained, dehydrated, or otherwise compromised subjects, or after long-lasting immobilization, as with space flight.

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Circulatory hypokinesis and functional electric stimulation during standing in persons with spinal cord injury.

date: 11/01/2001
author: Faghri PD, Yount JP, Pesce WJ, Seetharama S, Votto JJ.
publication: Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001 Nov;82(11):1587-95
pubmed_ID: 11689980
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of functional electric stimulation (FES) of lower limb muscles during 30 minutes of upright standing on the central and peripheral hemodynamic response in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). DESIGN: A repeated-measure design. Subjects were used as their own control and underwent 2 testing protocols of FES-augmented standing (active standing) and non-FES standing (passive standing). SETTING: Rehabilitation hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Fourteen individuals with SCI (7 with tetraplegia, 7 with paraplegia). INTERVENTIONS: During active standing, FES was administered to 4 muscle groups of each leg in an overlapping fashion to produce a pumping mechanism during standing. During passive standing, subjects stood for 30 minutes using a standing frame with no FES intervention. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Central hemodynamic responses of stroke volume, cardiac output, heart rate, arterial blood pressure, total peripheral resistance (TPR), and rate pressure product (RPP) were evaluated by impedance cardiography. All measurements were performed during supine and sitting positions before and after standing, and during 30 minutes of upright standing. RESULTS: Comparisons between the groups with paraplegia and tetraplegia showed a significant increase in heart rate in the paraplegics after 30 minutes of active standing. During active standing, paraplegics’ heart rate increased by 18.2% (p = .015); during passive standing, it increased by 6% (p = .041). TPR in the tetraplegics significantly (p = .003) increased by 54% when compared with the paraplegics during passive standing. Overall, the tetraplegic group had a significantly lower systolic blood pressure (p = .013) and mean arterial pressure (p = .048) than the paraplegics during passive standing. These differences were not detected during active standing. When data were pooled from both groups and the overall groups response to active and passive standing were compared, the results showed that cardiac output, stroke volume, and blood pressure significantly decreased (p < .05) during 30 minutes of passive standing, whereas TPR significantly increased (p < .05). All of the hemodynamic variables were maintained during 30 minutes of active standing, and there were increases in RPP and heart rate after 30 minutes of active standing. CONCLUSION: FES of the lower extremity could be used by persons with SCI as an adjunct during standing to prevent orthostatic hypotension and circulatory hypokinesis. This effect may be more beneficial to those with tetraplegia who have a compromised autonomic nervous system and may not be able to adjust their hemodynamics to the change in position. Copyright 2001 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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Cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength of wheelchair users.

date: 12/15/1981
author: Davis GM, Kofsky PR, Kelsey JC, Shephard RJ.
publication: Can Med Assoc J. 1981 Dec 15;125(12):1317-23.
pubmed_ID: 6459841

The classification of lower-limb disabilities is commonly based on the site of the spinal cord lesion or the amount of functional muscle. Another important variable in assessing wheelchair users is their ability to carry out the activities of daily living. The cardiorespiratory fitness of those with lower-limb disabilities is usually assessed with arm-ergometry and wheelchair tests, each of which has some advantages. Muscle strength and endurance are also important aspects of the disabled person’s ability to function. Fitness is often poor in the disabled, and normal wheelchair use does not seem to prove an adequate training stimulus. Exercise with an arm ergometer and with pulleys and participation in vigorous wheelchair sports can improve physical condition. Participation in exercise programs should be based on the results of a fitness assessment and on the level of the spinal cord lesion in those with paraplegia. Progression in such programs should be gradual to ensure that the exerciser does not become discouraged and drop out of classes before fitness is increased. Data on wheelchair athletes suggest that, with persistence, many individuals in wheelchairs can adjust relatively well to their disabilities.