Varying whole body vibration amplitude differentially affects tendon and ligament structural and material properties.

Academic Article


  • Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is becoming increasingly popular for helping to maintain bone mass and strengthening muscle. Vibration regimens optimized for bone maintenance often operate at hypogravity levels (<1G) and regimens for muscle strengthening often employ hypergravity (>1G) vibrations. The effect of vibratory loads on tendon and ligament properties is unclear though excessive vibrations may be injurious. Our objective was to evaluate how tendon gene expression and the mechanical/histological properties of tendon and ligament were affected in response to WBV in the following groups: no vibration, low vibration (0.3G peak-to-peak), and high vibration (2G peak-to-peak). Rats were vibrated for 20 min a day, 5 days a week, for 5 weeks. Upon sacrifice, the medial collateral ligament (MCL), patellar tendon (PT), and the Achilles Tendon (AT) were isolated with insertion sites intact. All tissues were tensile tested to determine structural and material properties or used for histology. Patellar tendon was also subjected to quantitative RT-PCR to evaluate expression of anabolic and catabolic genes. No differences in biomechanical data between the control and the low vibration groups were found. There was evidence of significant weakness in the MCL with high vibration, but no significant effect on the PT or AT. Histology of the MCL and PT showed a hypercellular tissue response and some fiber disorganization with high vibration. High vibration caused an increase in collagen expression and a trend for an increase in IGF-1 expression suggesting a potential anabolic response to prevent tendon overuse injury.
  • Published In


  • Achilles Tendon, Animals, Bone Density, Cell Count, Collagen Type I, Cyclooxygenase 2, Elastic Modulus, Female, Fibroblasts, Gene Expression, Insulin-Like Growth Factor I, Medial Collateral Ligament, Knee, Patellar Ligament, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Spine, Tensile Strength, Vibration
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Keller BV; Davis ML; Thompson WR; Dahners LE; Weinhold PS
  • Start Page

  • 1496
  • End Page

  • 1500
  • Volume

  • 46
  • Issue

  • 9