Original research title: Use of an isometric mid-thigh pull test during musculoskeletal rehabilitation: can the criterion values from the updated British Army physical employment standards be used to inform UK Defence Rehabilitation practice?
Authors: Walters V, Coppack R, Cassidy R, Suffield C, Papadopoulou T, Bilzon J, Ladlow P
Injured military personnel undergo rehabilitation to ensure they are fit to return to duty. Using objective measures of functional strength allows clinicians to accurately track functional capacity and treatment effectiveness over time. The isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) is a reliable way to assess overall muscle strength. Therefore, results from an isometric mid-thigh pull (IMPT) test have the potential to inform clinical decision-making.
The purpose of this study was to:
- Evaluate the acceptability of the IMTP in military personnel rehabilitating from hip injuries.
- Compare IMTP results from injured personnel against current Defense standards.
A prospective cohort study was designed to determine the suitability of using the IMTP during hip injury rehabilitation in military personnel. Nineteen participants completed maximal IMTP efforts while standing on ForceDecks Dual Force Plate System. Hip (140-150°) and knee (125-145°) postures for the IMTP were standardized using a goniometer and all participants pulled with maximum effort for 5 seconds. ForceDecks software automatically analyzed the force-time signals and extracted metrics of interest.
- The IMTP test had 100% adherence from study participants and no participants reported any soreness or overexertion. Clinicians enjoyed the ease of administering the test and the quickness with which it can be performed (<15 minutes per person).
- Mean recorded net peak force was 1281±440N, which equates to 131±45 kg in this patient population. While relatively low compared to sporting populations, the results were 2.6 times greater than minimum physical employment standards and suggest the standards need to be raised. Further research is required to determine suitable IMTP test standards for tactical populations.
VALD’s solution – ForceDecks
VALD’s ForceDecks Dual Force Plate System provide tactical professionals with an objective tool to track rehabilitation outcomes and determine return-to-duty readiness.
- The IMTP test is a supported test type that can be used to profile overall body strength in a simple-to-administer test that does not require a lot of familiarization. Key metrics can be grouped by job role to build out normative data representative of each population.
- The Countermovement Jump (CMJ) test can be used in conjunction with the IMTP test to understand ballistic force production and track neuromuscular fatigue. Key metrics include peak takeoff power and force asymmetries during both the takeoff and landing phases.
For the full study, see here.
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