Every clinic needs to the ability to perform manual muscle testing. Manual muscle testing is a part of the evaluation and diagnosis process and plays an important part in tracking progress throughout treatment. Strength measurement can be used for a number of reasons in rehabilitation:
- Establish a baseline of strength
- Identify any weaknesses or impairments
- Track rehabilitative progress
When picking a dynamometer, it’s important to choose a tool that works best for a clinic’s needs.
MicroFET 2 Hand Held Dynamometer from Hoggan Scientific
The MicroFET 2 hand held dynamometer is a top seller among rehabilitative practitioners and for good reason. The MicroFET 2 is less expensive than the Lafayette brand dynamometer and has many features that make it a great choice for clinics and practitioners.
Benefits of Using a MicroFET 2 for Manual Muscle Testing
- Easy to Read: With a digital display, the MicroFET 2 makes it simple to read testing results.
- Accurate: Considered the industry standard for providing accurate results, the MicroFET 2 makes it easy to follow testing protocols and get precise strength measurements.
- Wireless: A great feature, the MicroFET 2 is wireless so it can be used anywhere there is wife capabilities.
- Accessories: In order to achieve precise muscle strength measurements, it’s important to isolate the correct muscles. Accessory attachments can be used with the MicroFET 2 in order to isolate the proper muscle and easily perform manual muscle tests.
- Available Software package: Patient records are an important part of the rehabilitative process. The MicroFET 2 has a compatible software package, that stores and organizes patient data easily.
- Affordable: Even combined with the software package, the MicroFET 2 is the least expensive option for a hand held dynamometer that delivers consistent, precise results.
- Warranty: With a 2-year warranty, clinics can use the MicroFET confidently and know that if they need any repairs or exchanges, it’s covered.
JTECH Commander PowerTrack
The next most popular hand held dynamometer on the market is the JTECH Commander Powertrack. The JTECH Commander is a reliable, accurate dynamometer that has the added bonus of being able to be used without the need for a computer.
Affordable, the JTECH Commander manual muscle tester (MMT) reliably tests muscle strength, identify areas of weakness and pinpoint improvement and progress. Commander Power Track MMT can store 40 tests with up 4 repetitions per side. It can also record peak force and computes CV and strength deficits. The Commander Hand Dynamometer with its ergonomic design easily fits in your hand and ensures no outside forces impact readings. Using the handheld dynamometer therapists can capture and analyze up to 40 bilateral tests including four repetitions per side.
JTECH COMMANDER POWERTRACK II MUSCLE DYNAMOMETER FEATURES:
- Ergonomic design: The JTECH Commander was designed to be compact and can fit easily in the practitioner’s hand.
- Data Storage: Manual muscle testing requires repetitions of tests to achieve the most accurate results. The JTECH Powertrack was created to record, store and analyze up to 40 bilateral tests with up to four repetitions per side.
- Calculates comparisons: Sometimes it’s necessary to calculate bilateral strength in order to identify deficits. The JTECH hand held dynamometer has the capability to Calculate bilateral strength deficits in order to give objective side-to-side comparisons.
- Calculates effort: Effort is another aspect of muscle strength. In order to improve accuracy, the JTECH Commander was created to be able to calculate multiple repetition coefficient of variation (CV) which makes it possible to determine effort consistency.
- Improved Accuracy: In order to ensure 99% accuracy, the JTECH dynamometer was designed with "Axis Compensation" circuitry to deliver accuracy across entire test pad.
- Efficient: Now changing dynamometer test pads is faster and easier, with the "Quick-connect" system design of the JTECH Commander.
- Compatible Software: Want to be able to download results into a clinic computer? No problem, there is downloader software available which may increase the price, but elevates the quality of record keeping options.
LaFayette Instrument 01165 Manual Muscle Testing (MMT)
Probably the most well-known company in the hand held dynamometer market is LaFayette and their Lafayette MMT Device 01165 is an excellent choice for clinics.
- Easy to Use: With an easy to read LCD display with interactive menu displaying device options, the microprocessor controlled 01165 MMT has a tone to indicate when to start, stop and when a patient is entering within a range. And with a battery indicator included on the LCD display, practitioners know right away when it’s time to recharge.
- Data Storage: The LaFayette MMT 01165 can manually or automatically store up to 150 tests on-board making it a great choice when data storage may be a concern or need.
- Multiple measurements: The LaFayette 01165 was designed to measure: Peak force, Time to reach peak force, Total test time, Time within selectable ranges, and Average force, giving practitioners many options in order to increase the accuracy of their results. Further, the measurement range is 0-300 lbs. (136.1 kg/1335 N) making it good dynamometer choice to use for muscle testing almost all patients.
- Browsing Option: If there’s ever a need to find data, the LaFayette MMT 01165 allows practitioners to browse all stored data.
- No Wires: The LaFayette MMT is battery powered with (1) rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Battery Life is 6 hrs. powered on, 30 minutes after low battery condition. In order to maximize the life of the battery, the 01165 has an automatic shut-off feature after 5 minutes of inactivity.
Every clinic needs a way to measure strength. The ability to accurately measure strength is a necessity from evaluation all the way to graduation from treatment. One study even found that using multiple dynamometers to test an individual’s strength would be a good practice for clinics to start implementing in order to increase the accuracy of their results. (Comparison of three hand dynamometers in relation to the accuracy and precision of the measurements.) Whether a clinic decides to employ that practice or not, it’s important to remember that practitioners can only provide excellent care based on the information they have on hand. Having accurate muscle testing results is the foundation on which rehabilitation regimens are built and executed. Hand held dynamometers give practitioners the results that build that foundation.