The Benefits of Vibration Training for Cerebral Palsy

Medically reviewed by: David M. Joyner, MD, FACS

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder caused by damage to the brain during early development. Children born with cerebral palsy struggle with developing normal muscle tone and posture, as well as controlling their movements. 

While there is no cure for the disorder, there are tools that can help, including the use of a vibration plate for addressing cerebral palsy symptoms.

Researchers have found that even one session of vibration training, also referred to as “body vibration”, could be a tool in broader wellness programs, potentially aiding in overall physical comfort and mobility for cerebral palsy patients, with results lasting up to 30 minutes after training. This form of training enhances muscle function, a key benefit for those with cerebral palsy. In this article, we’ll review the evidence for vibration training and discuss how using a vibration plate to stimulate muscles and nerves could provide relief from the frustrating symptoms of cerebral palsy.

What is Vibration Training?

Vibration training (also called whole body vibration, or WBV) is a non-invasive modality that uses a mechanical vibrating tool such as a plate or platform to stimulate muscle and nerve fibers. Thanks to its ease of use and general safety, the popularity of WBV has been increasing rapidly in recent years.

Vibration training is commonly used for recovery and physical therapy, as well as in sports and physical fitness. While research into the effects of WBV is still underway, its positive effects on bone density and muscle stimulation are well documented. Many doctors, athletes, and researchers believe that WBV exercise and training may also:

  • Increase strength and redevelop muscle mass
  • Ease pain in the back and knees
  • Relieve muscle soreness after exercise
  • Reduce stress
  • Facilitate weight loss
  • Address symptoms associated with chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia
  • Alleviate symptoms of disorders like Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy

Understanding Vibration Training in Cerebral Palsy

How can something as simple as mechanical vibration help with cerebral palsy symptoms? The answer lies in how muscles and nerves respond to rhythmic movements and pressure, like vibration. 

The Science Behind Vibration Training

When the human body is exposed to mechanical vibration, it stimulates nerve and muscle tissues, causing rapid muscle contraction and release. It’s probably not surprising to learn that these rapid-fire muscle contractions can help build stronger muscle tissue in the same way that traditional exercise does. 

What might surprise you, however, is that muscle contractions can also improve bone health. 

Bones and muscles may seem very different, but they’re actually an intricately connected system that works in sync. When muscles contract during WBV training, they apply pressure to the skeletal system. The body responds to this pressure by creating more of the specialized cells known as osteoblasts, which reinforce and repair bone tissue. 

Potential Benefits of Vibration Plates for Cerebral Palsy

Because of its remarkable ability to strengthen the musculoskeletal system, vibration training has been shown to have a positive effect on the symptoms of cerebral palsy. Dozens of studies have found that patients who performed vibration training showed both short- and long-term improvements in general physical wellness.

Vibration training has proven to be particularly effective for:

  • Enhancing muscle strength and coordination – WBV can help cerebral palsy patients restore muscle strength and coordination by stimulating the activity of muscle spindles (receptors that help muscles move and stretch) and motor neurons (nerves which control movement). A 2018 review of 28 studies concluded that vibration training can lead to “significant improvements in daily living” for cerebral palsy patients by reducing impairments in motor control and strength.
  • Reducing spasticity and improving mobility – Spasticity is one of the most frustrating symptoms for people with cerebral palsy, but vibration training can provide relief after one session, with more improvement over time. For example, a 2014 study on children found that spasticity was reduced after standing on a vibrating platform for just 20 minutes. The effects lasted as long as two hours post-session, allowing participants with spastic cerebral palsy to walk and move more comfortably. 


Addressing Concerns and Safety Measures

Vibration training is generally considered safe, but there are some safety concerns to keep in mind. Exposure to high-frequency vibration can have negative health effects, so it’s crucial to use a device designed for specific applications. Vibration training devices should be calibrated to vibrate at a low frequency (30 to 50 Hz is generally considered best for health). 

Whole body vibration training may be contraindicated for individuals with certain  health conditions. All users should consult their personal health care provider regarding suitability of training on a vibration plate.  

Safety Guidelines and Best Practices

To ensure your safety, always follow the manufacturer’s directions for using a vibration plate at home. Additionally, here are some general best practices to keep in mind:

  • Start with low intensity 
  • Increase intensity gradually
  • Limit exposure time (workouts should generally be limited to 10-30 minutes)

Balancing Training with Overall Treatment

Cerebral palsy is a serious disorder, and you should always consult with your healthcare provider for guidance specific to your condition before beginning any new exercise or training modality.

A medical professional will help you create a personalized plan that recognizes your current fitness level, the severity of your symptoms, and any co-occurring conditions. Put simply, utilizing vibration training as a supplemental tool for addressing symptoms of cerebral palsy may be a beneficial component to a holistic wellness plan, included with medication and physiotherapy.

Bring the Strength of Power Plate to Your Physiotherapy Regimen 

While medical researchers are still exploring the full potential of WBV, current research supports the use of vibration to help manage cerebral palsy symptoms. Whether you’re struggling with the symptoms of cerebral palsy or you’re a caregiver for someone who lives with the condition, vibration training could be an effective option to explore with your healthcare team. 

Ready to harness the strengthening effects of WBV for your health and fitness? 

Power Plate lets you benefit from the healing power of a professional-caliber vibration device in the comfort of your own home. Our proprietary PrecisionWave technology is precisely calibrated to deliver vibration at the proper frequency and intensity for safety and effectiveness. Begin your journey today with Power Plate.


Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine. Immediate effect of a single session of whole body vibration on spasticity in children with cerebral palsy. 

Austin Sports Medicine. The historical evolution of the therapeutic application of whole body vibrations: Any lessons to be learned? 

International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Bone Control of Muscle Function. 

International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. Vibration therapy – A clinical commentary. 

Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. Effects of local vibration therapy on various performance parameters: a narrative literature review. 

Mayo Clinic. Is whole-body vibration a good way to lose weight and improve fitness? 

Medicine. Whole-body vibration training and bone health in postmenopausal women. 

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. Vibration therapy in patients with cerebral palsy: A systematic review. 

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