• Whole-body Vibration at Thoracic Resonance Induces Sustained Pain and Widespread Cervical Neuroinflammation in the Rat.

Whole-body Vibration at Thoracic Resonance Induces Sustained Pain and Widespread Cervical Neuroinflammation in the Rat.

Clinical orthopaedics and related research (2015-04-29)
Martha E Zeeman, Sonia Kartha, Nicolas V Jaumard, Hassam A Baig, Alec M Stablow, Jasmine Lee, Benjamin B Guarino, Beth A Winkelstein

Whole-body vibration (WBV) is associated with back and neck pain in military personnel and civilians. However, the role of vibration frequency and the physiological mechanisms involved in pain symptoms are unknown. This study asked the following questions: (1) What is the resonance frequency of the rat spine for WBV along the spinal axis, and how does frequency of WBV alter the extent of spinal compression/extension? (2) Does a single WBV exposure at resonance induce pain that is sustained? (3) Does WBV at resonance alter the protein kinase C epsilon (PKCε) response in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG)? (4) Does WBV at resonance alter expression of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the spinal dorsal horn? (5) Does WBV at resonance alter the spinal neuroimmune responses that regulate pain? Resonance of the rat (410 ± 34 g, n = 9) was measured by imposing WBV at frequencies from 3 to 15 Hz. Separate groups (317 ± 20 g, n = 10/treatment) underwent WBV at resonance (8 Hz) or at a nonresonant frequency (15 Hz). Behavioral sensitivity was assessed throughout to measure pain, and PKCε in the DRG was quantified as well as spinal CGRP, glial activation, and cytokine levels at Day 14. Accelerometer-based thoracic transmissibility peaks at 8 Hz (1.86 ± 0.19) and 9 Hz (1.95 ± 0.19, mean difference [MD] 0.290 ± 0.266, p < 0.03), whereas the video-based thoracic transmissibility peaks at 8 Hz (1.90 ± 0.27), 9 Hz (2.07 ± 0.20), and 10 Hz (1.80 ± 0.25, MD 0.359 ± 0.284, p < 0.01). WBV at 8 Hz produces more cervical extension (0.745 ± 0.582 mm, MD 0.242 ± 0.214, p < 0.03) and compression (0.870 ± 0.676 mm, MD 0.326 ± 0.261, p < 0.02) than 15 Hz (extension, 0.503 ± 0.279 mm; compression, 0.544 ± 0.400 mm). Pain is longer lasting (through Day 14) and more robust (p < 0.01) after WBV at the resonant frequency (8 Hz) compared with 15 Hz WBV. PKCε in the nociceptors of the DRG increases according to the severity of WBV with greatest increases after 8 Hz WBV (p < 0.03). However, spinal CGRP, cytokines, and glial activation are only evident after painful WBV at resonance. WBV at resonance produces long-lasting pain and widespread activation of a host of nociceptive and neuroimmune responses as compared with WBV at a nonresonance condition. Based on this work, future investigations into the temporal and regional neuroimmune response to resonant WBV in both genders would be useful. Although WBV is a major issue affecting the military population, there is little insight about its mechanisms of injury and pain. The neuroimmune responses produced by WBV are similar to other pain states, suggesting that pain from WBV may be mediated by similar mechanisms as other neuropathic pain conditions. This mechanistic insight suggests WBV-induced injury and pain may be tempered by antiinflammatory intervention.