Oscillatory Vibration Training Known as SAVT Can Improve Muscle Power in Mitochondrial Disease Patients, Study Shows

Oscillatory Vibration Training Known as SAVT Can Improve Muscle Power in Mitochondrial Disease Patients, Study Shows

Side alternating vibration training (SAVT), which uses a vibrating platform to simulate exercise, can improve muscle power in patients with mitochondrial diseases, according to a study published in Archives of Physiotherapy.

Mitochondrial diseases comprise a group of inherited disorders that changes the way cells in the body produce energy. Without a cure or effective treatments available, people with the disease often experience exercise intolerance, severe muscle weakness, and loss of muscle function, which can progress to decline in walking ability.

Finding ways to improve muscle strength and postural stability may have important implications for the patient’s quality of life.

In the study “Side alternating vibration training in patients with mitochondrial disease: a pilot study” a research team from the University of Calgary in Canada, evaluated the potential of SAVT to improve muscle power in patients with mitochondrial myopathies (muscle disease), who experience muscle weakness.

The study enrolled 13 patients, but only 7 completed at least 80 percent of the scheduled training sessions. The patients were between the ages of 3 and 80 and had been diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease, which included Complex IV deficiency, Complex I and III deficiency, Ragged red fiber disease, Complex I, IV, and V deficiency, SANDO Syndrome (POLG1), MELAS Syndrome, and mtDNA Deletion Syndrome.

The participants were randomized to start SAVT or control treatment for 12 weeks, followed by 12 weeks of a washout period. After this, the participants switched groups and underwent SAVT or control treatment for another 12 weeks.

SAVT treatment consisted of standing on a vibration platform with the feet approximately shoulder-width apart, knees flexed, neck straight, and eyes looking directly forward, for up to 5 minutes (2 min on, 1 min off, and 2 min on), three times a week.

The control treatment consisted of the patient assuming the same position, but standing on a flat floor, for an equivalent amount of time.

During the study period, the patients did not report any adverse effects related to the SAVT. No signs of muscle injury or inflammation were detected, as determined by the normal ranging values of serum creatine kinase and blood lactate.

The patients often reported an exercise-similar sensation in the leg muscles, with some soreness that lasted one day or two.

To measure muscle power, the participants were requested to jump and the generated energy was determined. This evaluation showed that mean muscle power was significantly lower by the end of the control treatment compared with the end of the SAVT treatment.

The results indicate that “SAVT reversed the declines in ambulatory ability,” the researchers stated. They believe that the beneficial effects seen may result from high-frequency muscle activation caused by the high amplitude oscillation of the SAVT platform.

Although the study showed a significant improvement upon 12 weeks of therapy, the effects wear off after cessation of SAVT. Yet, if SAVT is incorporated into a physical exercise program, it can represent an important intervention option to help patients sustain mobility, the researchers said.

“We feel that both clinicians and researchers will find this useful in their assessment of patients and judging response to therapy in patients with these rare diseases,” they added.


  1. Pavel says:

    In my country galileo vibroplatform very expensive, is there a cheaper analog? or how I can contact with authors of the article?

    • Alice Melão says:

      Dear Pavel,
      Indeed the authors mention in the study that these vibratory platforms can be very expensive, but they also say that they are becoming very popular and that some gyms are acquiring them. Maybe you can find one in a gym close to you. The email of the senior author of the study, Aneal Khan, is [email protected].

    • Lloyd Shaw says:

      A few points people reading this should know.

      First off, my name is Lloyd Shaw. And I stand by my reputation for being 100% upfront and honest about this young industry.

      Both Pivotal and Lineal units can give great results depending on how they are used. ( note: A lot of the papers cited in this research are from Lineal studies eg…. Bosco only used Lineal )

      The main thing is for the units when dealing with at risk populations is to have side handle bars for stability ( which unfortunately the unit used in the research does not have ).

      No, you do not need to spend a fortune to get great results.
      Eg… The Power Plates ( Lineal ) units in the photo are overpriced plastic rubbish. You could not give one to me.

      I have been running commercial studies since 2003 using a number of brands for different purposes. I also build my own units for morbid obesity and other disabilities / restrictions and serious training ( no I do not retail them to the public.)

      I have been doing free disability work that entire time. We do not charge anyone with a life threatening illness as company policy, and I personally do work in this area every single day.

      Eg… http://www.latifadaud.nz/im-losing-weight-regaining-muscle-strength/


      In my opinion the unit used in the study was not suitable for the demographic it targets. If you go and look at the units at the companies home page, you will see for yourself.

      The fact is, plenty of units are available globally from different companies that are suitable. Of course there is better and worse machines, but not many are absolute rubbish. I often help those in need track down something within their budget and covers their needs. And with my full disclosure attitude I can fill you in on things you will simply not have the knowledge to protect yourself and / or get the best results ( like a decent program ).

    • Lloyd Shaw says:

      SAVT is just another term for Pivotal.

      A lot of companies do not want you to Google Pivotal or Lineal because it tends to lead to consumer protection articles they may contradict their advertising, or educate you enough to ask too many questions.

  2. Lloyd Shaw says:

    Now even though I love this technology, and have seen the difference it can make to peoples lives ( especially getting around the long list of contraindications that limits so many other disciplines )
    And it truly will transform some peoples lives past what they have been told is likely. Unfortunately the industry is still immature so until either some ethics driven academics, or journalists willing to do some research goes public to clear up some pretty big issues ( some so unethical and unbelievable all skepticism is perfectly understandable ) I am afraid it might be years before those who are in need of real help, get it.

    Until then, it will continue to be a minefield for all involved..

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