Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Effect of whole-body vibration on painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy

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  • Introduction. Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a common complication of diabetes that interferes with daily living and causes severe pain. Pharmacotherapy is the accepted treatment strategy, however, this strategy is associated with high cost, minimal reductions in pain, and adverse side effects. Thus, a critical need exists to develop alternative treatment strategies. Purpose. To determine if a 12-week whole-body vibration (WBV) intervention reduces pain in adults with DPN. Methods. Twenty-one adults with physician confirmed painful DPN volunteered to take part in a 26-week time series design study. Pain was assessed with the Brief Pain Inventory Short Form [BPI-sf] and a 0-10 numeric rating scale [NRS]. The BPI-sf contains two indices that respectively measure how pain interferes with daily living and severity. The intervention began after a 12-week control period. At week 13, participants were asked to stand on a WBV machine 3 d/week for 4, 3-min bouts at 30-50 Hz with 1-min rest intervals between bouts. Pain levels were reported using the NRS before and after each bout. Results. Comparing post- to pre-intervention, BPI-sf pain interference scores decreased from 5.61±1.40 to 2.39±1.82 (p≤0.001). BPI-sf pain severity scores decreased from 5.1±0.64 to 3.1±1.87 (p≤0.01). Analyses of the NRS scores indicate that pain decreased each week following WBV and that between weeks, pain continued to decrease. Conclusion. These findings demonstrate that whole-body vibration was effective at reducing pain in a sample of adults with painful DPN.
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