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Manual Muscle Testing—Force Profiles and Their Reproducibility

Division Regulative Physiology and Prevention, Department Sports and Health Sciences, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diagnostics 2020, 10(12), 996;
Received: 31 October 2020 / Revised: 17 November 2020 / Accepted: 18 November 2020 / Published: 25 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skeletal Muscle Diagnostics and Managements)
The manual muscle test (MMT) is a flexible diagnostic tool, which is used in many disciplines, applied in several ways. The main problem is the subjectivity of the test. The MMT in the version of a “break test” depends on the tester’s force rise and the patient’s ability to resist the applied force. As a first step, the investigation of the reproducibility of the testers’ force profile is required for valid application. The study examined the force profiles of n = 29 testers (n = 9 experiences (Exp), n = 8 little experienced (LitExp), n = 12 beginners (Beg)). The testers performed 10 MMTs according to the test of hip flexors, but against a fixed leg to exclude the patient’s reaction. A handheld device recorded the temporal course of the applied force. The results show significant differences between Exp and Beg concerning the starting force (padj = 0.029), the ratio of starting to maximum force (padj = 0.005) and the normalized mean Euclidean distances between the 10 trials (padj = 0.015). The slope is significantly higher in Exp vs. LitExp (p = 0.006) and Beg (p = 0.005). The results also indicate that experienced testers show inter-tester differences and partly even a low intra-tester reproducibility. This highlights the necessity of an objective MMT-assessment. Furthermore, an agreement on a standardized force profile is required. A suggestion for this is given. View Full-Text
Keywords: manual muscle testing; neuromuscular diagnostics; force profiles; reproducibility; adaptive force; handheld device manual muscle testing; neuromuscular diagnostics; force profiles; reproducibility; adaptive force; handheld device
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bittmann, F.N.; Dech, S.; Aehle, M.; Schaefer, L.V. Manual Muscle Testing—Force Profiles and Their Reproducibility. Diagnostics 2020, 10, 996.

AMA Style

Bittmann FN, Dech S, Aehle M, Schaefer LV. Manual Muscle Testing—Force Profiles and Their Reproducibility. Diagnostics. 2020; 10(12):996.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bittmann, Frank N., Silas Dech, Markus Aehle, and Laura V. Schaefer 2020. "Manual Muscle Testing—Force Profiles and Their Reproducibility" Diagnostics 10, no. 12: 996.

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