For years if not decades the fitness community revered cardiorespiratory training as the most important mode of exercise to protect against certain major chronic diseases and to promote good health. Indeed, it is a powerful stimulus in protecting against chronic diseases such as heart disease and certain hormonal based cancers. During these earlier years, resistance training was mostly looked at as a mode of exercise to develop muscular strength and for good musculoskeletal health, and it does provide the stimulus for such. However, research has shown that resistance training is also an important stimulus in protecting against heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
In the setting of the physical therapy, occupational therapy, or chiropractic clinic, objective muscle strength testing is mostly used to evaluate the strength of an individual muscle or muscle group for the purpose of:
Determining a person’s strength against a known norm or standard
Comparison of dominant vs non-dominant side, or injured vs non-injured side
As a benchmark in determining the success of therapeutic strengthening interventions toward recovery after an injury and surgery
Monitoring strength gains overtime
Determining when an individual may be ready to return to his or her sport, activities of daily living, or other activities that require achievement of a certain degree or percentage of muscular strength before participation
Accurate assessment of an individual’s strength has also shown to be an important indicator of mobility limitations, impairment due to a multitude of diverse medical conditions, and as a predictor of important outcomes such as mortality, hospital length of stay, and even overall general health and well-being.
Muscle Strength Testing Devices
There are various muscle strength testing devices used to test different muscles of the body. These include:
Handheld Dynamometers: primarily used to test the major muscle groups of the upper and lower extremities that are involved in the important daily functioning of locomotion and in performing activities of daily living.
Wrist Dynamometers: these dynamometers measure the strength of muscles that cross the wrist joint and perform wrist flexion, extension, abduction (radial deviation), adduction (ulnar deviation). In addition, they test forearm muscle strength during supination and pronation.
Handgrip Dynamometers: this device tests the isometric grip strength of the forearm and finger flexor muscles. Grip is one of the most important strength assessments as it evaluates a person’s ability to grip an object and therefore use things like tools and devices so common in our day to day living activities.
Push-Pull Dynamometers: often used as an effective tool in measuring muscle strength specific to job task analysis and functional capacity evaluations to determine a person’s ability to effectively and without excess risk perform different job task requirements.
Leg/Back/Chest Dynamometers: primarily used to measure the strength of larger muscle groups of the legs, back, and chest designed to provide a durable and secure base platform for footing and counterforce, and a chain with a handle at the end for the hands to grasp.
Pinch Gauges: as the name implies, this device primarily measures the strength of a finger “pinch” maneuver and can be important in assessing the ability to perform tasks that include a pinch function such as pinching a key or holding a plate between the thumb and index finger.
Manual muscle testing is a method of testing a muscles strength where the evaluator/therapist applies the resistance against the subjects extremity (arm, forearm, wrist, thigh, leg, foot) to asses muscle strength and uses a grading system to give a somewhat subjective muscle strength performance score between 0 and 5. Muscle strength testing using a device provides a more objective and quantifiable value that can compared to norms or standards and a more precise method of assessing strength changes over time.
Muscle Strength Testing Devices for Sale from ProHealthcareProducts.com
ProHealthcareProducts.com carries all these strength testing devices from manufactures like Jamar, Hoggan Scientific, Lafeyette, JTech, Baseline, and other name brands known for quality, durability, accuracy, and functionality.