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Definition - What does Dynamometer mean?

A dynamometer refers to a specialized handheld device used by physical therapists and other healthcare practitioners that focuses on measuring muscle strength of a particular area of the body for diagnostic, prognostic, and rehabilitative purposes. In medicine, muscle strength testing serves as a barometer in identifying the relative health in a patient combined with underlying epidemiological implications that may exist.

SureHire explains Dynamometer

Manual muscle testing (MMT) stands as a benchmark approach in helping healthcare practitioners derive objective assessments about the general welfare of patients, with muscle weakness serving as an index for targeting dormant medical issues. Handheld dynamometers are a cost-effective way to assess the dynamic motions of various musculature contributing to the execution of regular daily activities and job performance. When conducting muscle strength testing, biological and physiological variables including age, gender, and weight are integral in reviewing the comparative metrics between the normal range and anomalies that suggest a medical condition may exist.

The physical therapist or healthcare practitioner must apply pressure above the resistance level that a patient can exert; otherwise, this discrepancy can invalidate the integrity of the testing protocol. Hence, proficient use of handheld dynamometers can help isolate etiological consequences that are directly responsible for muscle weakness where, for example, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis (OA) are legitimate culprits. Handheld dynamometers feature digital display readouts that compute incremental measurements following the criteria of the pounds, Newtons, or Kilograms Force (KGF) system. Some handheld dynamometer models contain intuitive software that covers cross-referencing data between single and multiple users within the purview of diagnosing and monitoring muscle weakness related to individual cases.

Both sedentary positions and physical labor carry the risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) including arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, hernias, and muscle sprains/strains. Incidentally, employers face economic downturns as absenteeism, decreased productivity, and worker's compensation costs become problematic. A workplace environment that promotes a climate that revolves around ergonomics and a healthy lifestyle can help offset musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Handheld dynamometers are viable devices for charting muscle weakness in the early intervention of detecting pathological conditions that become more pronounced with aging.

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