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Quantification of Lumbar Function: Part 1: Isometric and Multispeed Isokinetic Trunk Strength Measures in Sagittal and Axial Planes in Normal Subjects

SMITH, SUSAN S., MS, PT*; MAYER, TOM G., MD*; GATCHEL, ROBERT J., PhD*; BECKER, THEODORE J., PhD, PT

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The goals of this study were to: (1) evaluate the repeatability of a method of measuring trunk strength; (2) measure isometric and isokinetic strength of trunk flexors, extensors and rotators; (3) explore relationships among these muscle groups; and (4) compare a torque to body weight adjustment measure versus lean body weight. One hundred twenty-five normal subjects (62 males, 63 females) were tested using a Cybex prototype trunk extension-flexion system. Sixty-seven subjects (25 males, 42 females) were tested using a prototype torso rotation unit. Fifty were tested on both devices. Results demonstrated that the strength data were reliable, with strength being greatest in extension. The following were also learned-torque output declined slightly with increased speed; extensor-flexor strength remained consistent from 18 to 44 years; extension-flexion ratios exceeded 1.1:1; left to right rotation ratios remained 1:1; there was no significant difference between torque adjusted to body weight or to lean body weight.

*From the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, Texas

†From Fankhauser Physical Therapy, Everett, Washington

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.