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Good Vibrations: Whole Body Vibration in Neurodiverse Pediatric Populations

Good Vibrations: Whole Body Vibration in Neurodiverse Pediatric Populations

Good Vibrations: Whole Body Vibration in Neurodiverse Pediatric Populations

This course includes
1:34:55 of Course Material (View)
Patient Education (View)
90 Days access after purchase
Certificate of completion
This course was recorded in March 2024


This 1.5-hour course delves into the application of whole-body vibration (WBV) as a valuable treatment application in pediatric clinical practice. It begins with a concise history of vibration in rehabilitation, followed by an overview of the current research in different pediatric populations.

The course then explores the theorized physiological mechanisms of WBV’s action and the relevance of this treatment for various neurodiverse populations. The curriculum covers indications, and contra-indications, and compares different clinical treatment parameters, aligning them with specific intervention targets for children based on individual needs. The course also addresses recognizing signs of sensory overload.

Finally, it includes three brief case studies demonstrating WBV implementation for children with diverse needs.


Learning Objectives

In this online course, you will:

  1. Learn to describe specific research outcomes related to the utilization of WBV in 3 of the pediatric populations discussed: cerebral palsy, down syndrome, autism, spinal muscular atrophy, spinal bifida, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and cystic fibrosis.

  2. Discuss the proposed physiological mechanisms that underlie the action of WBV in pediatric populations.

  3. List the diverse pediatric populations where WBV might be applicable, providing clinical explanations for its potential efficacy in each population.

  4. List the indications and contra-indications for the use of WBV in pediatric rehabilitation.

  5. Discuss the "Big 6" clinical treatment parameters: age, vibration frequency, vibration amplitude, treatment position, session duration/frequency, and total intervention duration.

  6. Discuss the relationship between WBV and sensory overload, including strategies to mitigate sensory overload in the context of WBV therapy for neurodiverse children.


This online course is for Physical and Occupational Therapists who are interested in learning about the use of whole-body vibration in neurodiverse pediatric populations.

The instructors
Shelley Mannell
PT, BSc , BHSc

Shelley Mannell is a Physical Therapist with over 30 years experience serving babies, children, and adolescents across a spectrum of neurological and developmental disabilities. She integrates a broad range of clinical skills and research to provide innovative neurobiology-informed treatment of children with movement disorders. Shelley founded HeartSpace Physical Therapy for Children in order to support clients and families as they matured through the lifespan.

Shelley began teaching as a clinical faculty member in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University and remains committed to improving the care for children through clinical research and education. Shelley is certified in both NDT and SI. She is also a children’s yoga and meditation facilitator and the co-creator of Dynamic Core for Kids, an evidence-based approach to central stability for children with motor and sensory challenges. Shelley also provides mentoring to therapists world-wide through her blog and her online program. As a respected international speaker, Shelley discusses the dynamic systems nature of the development of postural control and its application to assessment and intervention for children with sensory and motor challenges.

Course Material included in this course
  • Handouts
  • Good Vibrations handout
  • Reference article: Vibration detection: its function and recent advances in medical applications
  • Parent information sheet
  • Good Vibrations References and Resources
  • Introduction
  • Introduction to Whole Body Vibration
  • Disclaimer
  • History
  • History of Whole Body Vibration
  • Pediatric Research Literature
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Autism
  • Honourable Mentions: Myelomeningocele, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Cystic Fibrosis and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • How Does It Work?
  • Proposed Mechanisms of Action
  • Mechanisms of Action Summary
  • Clinical Populations
  • Clinical Populations
  • Indications and Contraindications for Whole Body Vibration
  • Indications and Contraindications
  • The "Big 6" Clinical Parameters
  • Age
  • Vibration Frequency
  • Vibration Amplitude
  • Clinical Parameters: Children with Cerebral Palsy
  • Clinical Parameters: Children with Down Syndrome and Autism
  • Clinical Parameters: Children with Sensory Processing Needs
  • Summary: Bone density, Preparation and an Implementation Guideline
  • Outcome Measures
  • Comment on Outcomes
  • Sensory Overload
  • Signs and Management of Sensory Overload
  • A Word About Machines
  • The Gold Standard
  • Clinical Applications: Case Discussions
  • Client with Neuromotor Needs and Tactile Sensitivity
  • Client with Low Tone and Sensory Processing Needs
  • Client with Sensory Processing Needs, Possible Neuromotor Needs and Motor Planning Needs
  • That's A Wrap
  • Going Forward
  • Good Vibrations Final Quiz
  • Course Feedback
Patient Education included in this course
  • Whole Body Vibration Parent Information Sheet

Yes! Whole body vibration research has identified a variety of populations for which it is appropriate. Understanding the mechanism of action helps us to identify other populations where it might be helpful. 

Yes there are. As well as outright contraindications for use there are also signs of overload that therapists should be familiar with when using whole body vibration.

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