Whole-body vibration-induced muscular reflex: Is it a stretch-induced reflex?

Cakar H. I., Cidem M., Sebik O., Yilmaz G., Karamehmetoglu S. S., Kara S., ...More

Journal of Physical Therapy Science, vol.27, no.7, pp.2279-2284, 2015 (Scopus) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1589/jpts.27.2279
  • Journal Name: Journal of Physical Therapy Science
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2279-2284
  • Keywords: Skeletal muscle function, Gravitational physiology, Tonic vibration reflex
  • Istanbul Gelisim University Affiliated: No


Purpose: Whole-body vibration (WBV) can induce reflex responses in muscles. A number of studies have reported that the physiological mechanisms underlying this type of reflex activity can be explained by reference to a stretch-induced reflex. Thus, the primary objective of this study was to test whether the WBV-induced muscular reflex (WBV-IMR) can be explained as a stretch-induced reflex. Subjects and Methods: The present study assessed 20 healthy males using surface electrodes placed on their right soleus muscle. The latency of the tendon reflex (T-reflex) as a stretch-induced reflex was compared with the reflex latency of the WBV-IMR. In addition, simulations were performed at 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50 Hz to determine the stretch frequency of the muscle during WBV. Results: WBV-IMR latency (40.5 ± 0.8 ms; 95% confidence interval CI:: 39.0–41.9 ms) was significantly longer than T-reflex latency (34.6 ± 0.5 ms; 95% CI: 33.6–35.5 ms) and the mean difference was 6.2 ms (95% CI of the difference: 4.7–7.7 ms). The simulations performed in the present study demonstrated that the frequency of the stretch signal would be twice the frequency of the vibration. Conclusion: These findings do not support the notion that WBV-IMR can be explained by reference to a stretch-induced reflex.