Assessing Performance Using Dynamometry

Just because you have a ‘number’ it doesn’t mean that it’s accurate, reliable or reproducible. Worse, it can guide you into poor decision-making with your patients and clients. Understand how to use commercially-available and hand-held devices to obtain true and accurate measures of performance and avid making the mistakes of others.

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Enrolment Opens: Early 2024

It’s fantastic to see testing devices at price points that are accessible to small clinics BUT we need to understand the device and the test characteristics else we run the risk of misinterpreting the data and making poor decisions.

What clinicians don’t often know...

Assessing the individual demands a greater level of measurement precision

This is really important. In clinic or in a sporting setting, we’re often concerned with assessing AN INDIVIDUAL. We want to see if they’ve got better over time, or if there’s a difference between limbs. This is very different to assessing performance of a group, which you typically see reported in the literature. Measurement variability can have a greater impact on accuracy and we need to account for that.

Some tests of muscle performance may have more than 40% error

What? Yep, even in the most rigorous of testing environments with asymptomatic people, a single measure of muscle force production may be only accurate to +/- 40%*. This means two individual scores need to differ by 40% in order to be confident that they’re really different and not just artefacts of error. That’s not very useful when we’re trying to detect changes. There are essential strategies to manipulate the testing environment to improve your precision.

RFD is highly variable

This role of this parameter of muscle performance is becoming widely recognised as integral for successful rehabilitation whether that be for the elite athlete or in older populations. RFD is a funny beast. It is highly variable and different parts of the force-time curve give us different information. It is critical to understand what your dynamometer reports, how it reports it and how to improve the accuracy of your measures.

Designed and delivered by Dr Claire Minshull

Internationally-respected tutor, author and researcher, Claire has conducted 1000s of assessments of muscle function on athletes and patients in support of return to play decision-making, rehabilitation guidance and for scientific studies. She has also written many peer-reviewed articles on measurement science and how to optimise assessment methods.

*Minshull et al (2009). Single measurement reliability and reproducibility of volitional and magnetically-evoked indices of neuromuscular performance in adults. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 19 1013-23

We will cover all of this and more in a really simple to follow clinician-focussed course.

That means it’ll be pragmatic and:

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