Recovery from traumatic muscle injuries is typically prolonged and incomplete, leading to impaired muscle and joint function. We sought to determine whether mechanical stimulation via whole-body low-intensity vibration (LIV) could (1) improve muscle regeneration and (2) reduce muscle fibrosis following traumatic injury. C57BL/6J mice were subjected to a laceration of the gastrocnemius muscle and were treated with LIV (0.2 g at 90 Hz or 0.4 g at 45 Hz for 30 min/day) or non-LIV sham treatment (controls) for seven or 14 days. Muscle regeneration and fibrosis were assessed in hematoxylin and eosin or Masson’s trichrome stained muscle cryosections, respectively. Compared to non-LIV control mice, the myofiber cross-sectional area was larger in mice treated with each LIV protocol after 14 days of treatment. Minimum fiber diameter was also larger in mice treated with LIV of 90 Hz/0.2 g after 14 days of treatment. There was also a trend toward a reduction in collagen deposition after 14 days of treatment with 45 Hz/0.4 g (p
= 0.059). These findings suggest that LIV may improve muscle healing by enhancing myofiber growth and reducing fibrosis. The LIV-induced improvements in muscle healing suggest that LIV may represent a novel therapeutic approach for improving the healing of traumatic muscle injuries.
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