Rare Neuromuscular Disease

Rare neuromuscular disease is a diverse group of disorders that interfere with the body’s ability to move. They affect at least 1 in 2,000,000 individuals. Neuromuscular diseases are inherited or acquired clinical disorders that mainly affect motor unit components: motor neurons and skeletal muscle fibers. The course of most of these diseases is particularly relentless in children, comprising about one half of our patients, and no reliable method currently exists to assess muscle performance or improve the ability to cope with activities of daily living.

​The conventional way to improve muscle strength has been through resistance and endurance training.  The fact that exercise improves performance in patients with neuromuscular disease is well-established. In some patients, particularly children, with impaired mobility, conventional resistance and endurance training is not a practical option for a number of reasons.



HoVibration in most clinical settings is applied indirectly to muscles through the joints while standing on a vibrating platform. There are acute and chronic effects on the muscle using vibration therapy. Vibration was initially used in conjunction with exercise for training athletes to improve performance and as a counter-measure to reduce the impact of space-flight on muscle performance and bone health. Therefore, we recognize there is potential for its application in mobility-impaired patients with neuromuscular disease.


Vibration Therapy for Rare Neuromuscular Disease

The Project

This project will study the outcomes of vibration therapy in mobility-impaired subjects with rare neuromuscular disease as determined by a physician.


To determine whether vibration therapy can be tolerated in subjects with rare neuromuscular disease with impaired mobility and to determine whether vibration therapy can improve muscle performance.

How it works

Subjects interested in participating are asked to contact the research coordinator for more information. The research coordinator will review the objective, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and what they have to do. Subjects that wish to enroll will be sent a consent form.

Inclusion Criteria

  • A pre-established diagnosis of neuromuscular disease.

  • Impaired ambulation manifested as a reduction in activities of daily living because of muscle weakness or the use of assistive devices for ambulation such as a walker or cane.

  • Sufficient muscle strength to be able to stand and perform a jump.

  • Age 3 years minimum (necessary in our experience to participate with jumping) but no upper limit in age.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Concurrent participation in other resistance or endurance exercise for the duration of the study.

  • Pregnancy.

  • Prosthetic devices (such as mechanical heart valves, pacemakers, central lines, bone prosthesis or grafts, ostomies, gastrostomy tubes.)

  • Unhealed fracture within the last 6 months that is actively being monitored.

  • Gallstones.

  • Urinary tract stones.

  • Active arthritis.

  • Thrombosis.

  • Spinal or lower extremity skeletal disorders (i.e. herniated disc.)

  • Any surgery within the last 6 months.

  • (These exclusions are customary in trials of whole body vibration involving both children and adults.)


The principal investigator in this study is Dr. Aneal Khan (University of Calgary, Alberta Children's Hospital).

Get Started

Contact us to obtain more information about the study.​​

Email:        ​researchassistmagic@telus.net


This study has been approved by the University of Calgary Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board (REB-14-0997)