Randomized Controlled Trial
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Orthop. Nov 18, 2016; 7(11): 758-765
Published online Nov 18, 2016. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v7.i11.758
Stochastic resonance whole body vibration increases perceived muscle relaxation but not cardiovascular activation: A randomized controlled trial
Achim Elfering, Christian Burger, Volker Schade, Lorenz Radlinger
Achim Elfering, Christian Burger, Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Bern, 3000 Bern, Switzerland
Volker Schade, Centre for Human Resource Management and Organizational Engineering, 3013 Bern, Switzerland
Lorenz Radlinger, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Health, 3008 Bern, Switzerland
Author contributions: Burger C performed the majority of experiment; Schade V and Radlinger L co-ordinated and provided the collection of data and were also involved in editing the manuscript; Elfering A designed the study, did the analyses and wrote the manuscript.
Supported by the Swiss National Accident Insurance Fund (SUVA, Project “Stochastisches Resonanztraining”) to Achim Elfering, Volker Schade and Lorenz Radlinger.
Institutional review board statement: This study was reviewed and approved by the ethical committee of the responsible University faculty.
Clinical trial registration statement: This study includes no patients and is not registered.
Informed consent statement: All study participants, or their legal guardian, provided informed verbal consent prior to study enrollment.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All author(s) state that for the current paper there is no financial or other relationship that might lead to a conflict of interest. There is no financial or other involvement of any stakeholders.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Achim Elfering, PhD, Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Bern, Fabrikstrasse 8, 3000 Bern, Switzerland. achim.elfering@psy.unibe.ch
Telephone: +41-31-6313639
Received: March 9, 2016
Peer-review started: March 15, 2016
First decision: April 20, 2016
Revised: August 18, 2016
Accepted: August 30, 2016
Article in press: August 31, 2016
Published online: November 18, 2016

To investigate the acute effects of stochastic resonance whole body vibration (SR-WBV), including muscle relaxation and cardiovascular activation.


Sixty-four healthy students participated. The participants were randomly assigned to sham SR-WBV training at a low intensity (1.5 Hz) or a verum SR-WBV training at a higher intensity (5 Hz). Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), heart rate (HR) and self-reported muscle relaxation were assessed before and immediately after SR-WBV.


Two factorial analyses of variance (ANOVA) showed a significant interaction between pre- vs post-SR-WBV measurements and SR-WBV conditions for muscle relaxation in the neck and back [F(1,55) = 3.35, P = 0.048, η2 = 0.07]. Muscle relaxation in the neck and back increased in verum SR-WBV, but not in sham SR-WBV. No significant changes between pre- and post-training levels of SBD, DBD and HR were observed either in sham or verum SR-WBV conditions. With verum SR-WBV, improved muscle relaxation was the most significant in participants who reported the experience of back, neck or shoulder pain more than once a month (P < 0.05).


A single session of SR-WBV increased muscle relaxation in young healthy individuals, while cardiovascular load was low. An increase in musculoskeletal relaxation in the neck and back is a potential mediator of pain reduction in preventive worksite SR-WBV trials.

Keywords: Musculoskeletal system, Prevention, Blood pressure, Heart rate, Low back pain

Core tip: This randomized controlled trial shows musculoskeletal relaxation to increase after application of a single training of stochastic resonance whole body vibration (SR-WBV). SR-WBV increased muscle relaxation especially in those who suffered from musculoskeletal pain in the last year. Participants reported improved muscular relaxation while the cardiovascular activation as indicated by blood pressure and heart rate was very low. In addition to ergonomic interventions SR-WBV contributes to prevent muscle related pain at work.