Muscle Size For Physical Therapy

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In a previous post we have outlined what Muscle Size is, and why it is important in the fields of fitness and health care, and research. Another area where Muscle Size is increasingly important is in Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine.

Why is Muscle Size Important in PT and Sports Medicine?

Physical Therapists and Sports Medicine practitioners predominantly use treatment oriented modalities in their practice. The ability to track and monitor the impact of such treatments in a timely manner is one of the keys to a successful rehab program. Assessing Muscle Size is a potential part of this process.

Muscle Size is one component of MuscleHealth and has been reported as an important contributor to health and wellbeing 1. Age-related loss of muscle size (Sarcopenia) has been described as the single most frequent cause of late-life disability2. In sports-related situations Muscle Size has been linked to greater endurance, delayed fatigue and increased bone integrity in female collegiate runners3, increased muscle strength4, and enhanced speed and power5;

The ability to easily assess and monitor changes in Muscle Size therefore can provide practitioners with valuable supplementary, and actionable information on the impact of prescriptive treatments. For example, monitoring Muscle Size can be used to assess…

  • Prevention/reversal of injury related muscle atrophy
  • Return of muscle size symmetry to contralateral limbs, post injury
  • The age-related rate of muscle mass loss (Sarcopenia)
  • Assessment of potential game-related injury risk

Although some of these outcomes can be assessed by other methodologies, these tend to be either time consuming, (e.g. 1RM tests) highly subjective (MMT) or require expensive and/or relatively inaccessible equipment such as MRI, DEXA or BIA.

MuscleSound, in contrast, is a rapid, convenient and comfortable method of determining Muscle Size that fits well with a busy clinic schedule. Results can be downloaded within seconds to a tablet or laptop for later analysis or historical context. The ability to access real-time information from inside the muscle, enables a more comprehensive, detailed evaluation of patient status.

 

  1. Wolfe, R., The under appreciated role of muscle in health and disease. Am J ClinNutr 84: 475–82, 2006.
  2. Cruz-Jentoft, AJ, et al., Sarcopenia: European consensus on definition and diagnosis. Age and Aging, 39: 412–423, 2010.
  3. Roelofs, EJ. et al., Muscle Size, Quality, and Body Composition: Characteristics of Division I Cross-Country Runners Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 29(2)/290–296, 2015.
  4. Hirsch, KR et al., Body Composition and Muscle Characteristics of Division I Track and Field Athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30: 1231–1238, 2016
  5. Delecluse, C. Influence of Strength Training on Sprint Running Performance Current Findings and Implications for Training. Sports Med. 24: 147-156, 1997.

 

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