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Testing muscle tone and mechanical properties of rectus femoris and biceps femoris using a novel hand held MyotonPRO device: relative ratios and reliability

Mullix, James, Warner, Martin and Stokes, Maria (2012) Testing muscle tone and mechanical properties of rectus femoris and biceps femoris using a novel hand held MyotonPRO device: relative ratios and reliability Working Papers in Health Sciences, 1, (1), pp. 1-8.

Record type: Article


Purpose: To use a novel, non-invasive hand held device (MyotonPRO) to quantify ratios of relative non-neural tone and mechanical properties of the rectus femoris (RF) and biceps femoris (BF) muscles, and to assess reliability of a novice user.

Relevance: The device offers rapid, objective testing of mechanical parameters of muscle in clinical or sports settings.

Participants: 21 healthy males (20-35 years)

Methods: Relaxed muscle parameters of RF and BFwere obtained using the MyotonPRO. The device applies a brief mechanical impact, producing muscle oscillations from which tone (state of intrinsic tension, indicated by frequency [Hz]) and mechanical properties of elasticity (logarithmic decrement) and stiffness (N/m) are measured. Data were collected on two days, one week apart. Two series of 10 single measurements on each muscle were used to test within-day reliability. The mean of the two sets was used for between-day reliability. Analysis: The relative parameters between RF and BF were expressed as a ratio. Reliability was assessed using intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs).

Results: The mean (±SD) RF:BF ratios for resting muscle were: frequency 1:0.96 (±0.05), decrement 1:1.10 (±0.17) and stiffness 1:0.95 (±0.07). Reliability of all three parameters was excellent within-sessions (ICCs 3,2 >0.99) and good between-days (ICCs 3,1 0.72-0.87).

Conclusions: The relative resting tone and mechanical properties of RF and BF has been characterised in young males, with ratios close to 1:1. Measures made by a novice user were reliable, indicating that the MyotonPRO has the potential for assessing changes in muscle properties objectively over time. Studies are needed in large healthy cohorts of different ages, activity levels and genders to produce reference data for assessing patients.

Implications: The relative tone and mechanical properties of RF and BF could potentially be used as a rapid method for assessing risk of injury is sporting populations and presence of abnormality in musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, once normal values have been established in relevant groups.

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Published date: 2012
Keywords: myotonometry, mechanical properties, reliability, quadriceps, hamstrings
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 345285
PURE UUID: 02eb8884-42f4-4523-b783-56799d060993
ORCID for Martin Warner: ORCID iD
ORCID for Maria Stokes: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 15 Nov 2012 15:12
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:11

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Author: James Mullix
Author: Martin Warner ORCID iD
Author: Maria Stokes ORCID iD

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