Thirteen studies were included in the review (n =722 participants). Jadad scores ranged from 0 to 5 points; five studies scored at least 3 points and could be considered high quality.
Bone density: Four of five studies showed benefit from whole body vibration; the anomalous study used the lowest intensity training, and evaluated only the lumbar spine. The four studies which showed a significant benefit did so at the hip or tibia, and none showed improvements in lumbar spine density. Some of the studies appeared to have included additional exercise not undertaken by control groups.
Mixed results were found for outcomes related to muscle performance (five studies) and balance and functional mobility (seven studies). In many cases, those studies showing the greatest treatment effect were also those with the lowest methodological quality scores.
Safety (13 studies): Six studies reported no adverse events; other studies reported minor side effects including transient itching and erythema, muscle soreness, headache, forefoot pain, groin pain, fear, and mild knee pain. Of these side effects, only transient itching and erythema and muscle soreness were reported by more than one person, with symptoms resolving within three to ten sessions. Only eight participants withdrew from the included studies for reasons related to the intervention.