Reproducibility and validity of a new test protocol for measuring isokinetic trunk extension strength


      Objective. To investigate the reproducibility and validity of isokinetic trunk extension strength scores obtained using a range of motion of 20° and velocities of 10 and 40°/s.
      Background. Common protocols for testing trunk extension strength incorporate a range of motion of 40° or more and test velocities of between 30 and 180°/s. These test parameters may be neither necessary for portraying the strength profile of the muscles involved nor suitable for patients impaired with low back dysfunction.
      Design. Test–retest of maximal concentric and eccentric isokinetic trunk extension strength in healthy subjects.
      Methods. 17 women and 18 men were tested twice within 1–2 weeks. Tests were performed with subjects positioned in sitting.
      Results. The trunk extension strength scores revealed excellent agreement with the expected physiological moment–velocity curve. On average women's trunk extension strength was 62% that of men (range: 59.3–64.4%). The test–retest correlation coefficients were generally higher in women (0.70–0.87) than in men (0.52–0.78) and significant at P=0.01. The standard error of measurement ranged between 13 and 21 N m for women and between 35 and 50 N m for men, which were equivalent to 9% and 15% of the mean strength in women and men, respectively.
      Conclusion. This study indicates that the present protocol may be validly applied in assessing trunk extension strength in normal women.Relevance
      Reproducible and valid trunk extension strength findings are essential if measurable strength deficiency of the extensors is to be formally accepted as an impairment. The present protocol incorporates or meets most of the relevant problems associated with trunk concentric and eccentric strength testing, and hence has the potential of becoming a standard method for clinical applications.


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