A number of recent trials have revealed Low Intensity Vibration (LIV) to be a safe and effective treatment for bone loss in children.
A recent study in childhood cancer survivors 5 years from diagnosis found that whole body bone mineral density (BMD) and tibial trabecular bone increased significantly over 12 months after using a LIV device compared to a placebo device (Ness et al. 2015), the manufacturers said.
The findings support another recent study in girls with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, where LIV was used for 12 months and achieved significant BMD increases in the femoral neck as well as increase in lumbar spine bone (Lam et al. 2012).
In a further study, LIV was used for six months compared to placebo. The LIV group showed 18% benefit in proximal tibial trabecular bone quality compared to the placebo control. The children in this study were unable to ambulate normally. Finally, in a placebo controlled study of ambulant boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy significant treatment differences were seen in spine BMAD +10.8%, total body+ 10.7% and femoral neck +14.5% from LIV use over 12 months.
In a summary of vibration publications in children with disabilities, it was concluded that LIV appears to be safe and efficient to use (Matute-Llorente et al. 2014).
In children that still have high anabolic capacities the opportunity to improve peak bone mass is proven to be possible with LIV. The extra mechanical stimulus can compensate for the loss they had during disease or treatment.
Bone loss in children and young people as a result of metabolic, genetic, physical disability or disease treatments can result in poor bone accrual and higher risk of osteoporosis in adulthood. Additionally, fracture risk in childhood may increase.
Peak bone mass is a critical determinate of life long skeletal health. Bone mass is built up from birth to around the age of 30; after that we begin to slowly loose bone mass. Finding therapies to increase peak bone mass in children is critical if they have a disease or other limitation that prevent them from being active.
LIV provides a safe, non-pharmacological intervention for children and young people with conditions that impede their normal bone accrual, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, eating disorders or medications like corticosteroids.
LIV is indicated for use in the following circumstances:
- Safe and effective treatment of osteoporosis
- Maintaining and increasing BMD
- Building muscle strength and muscle mass in the legs
- Stimulate blood circulation and lymphatic flow
- Improve balance, posture and co-ordination.