Is it time to rethink using digital palpation for assessment of muscle stiffness?

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dc.contributor.author Davidson, Melissa en
dc.contributor.author Nielsen, Poul en
dc.contributor.author Taberner, Andrew en
dc.contributor.author Kruger, Jennifer en
dc.date.accessioned 2020-01-12T22:22:00Z en
dc.date.issued 2020-01 en
dc.identifier.issn 0733-2467 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/49525 en
dc.description.abstract AIM:Physiotherapists typically use digital palpation to determine residual tension in a muscle, referred to as muscle stiffness or tone. These assessments are subjective, and little is known about their accuracy or repeatability. Despite this, it is standard practice to base clinical treatment on these findings. The aim of this study was to assess physiotherapists' ability to assign a seven-point palpation scale to quantitative stiffness values generated by a novel device. METHODS:Prospective observational study involving 125 musculoskeletal and pelvic floor physiotherapists. A novel device was developed that replicates the haptic feedback that clinicians assess as muscle stiffness. Measurements of displacement, force, and stiffness were recorded. RESULTS:There was wide overlap between each scale category assigned to the stiffness values, from low stiffness at -3 (119 [106, 132] N/m) to moderate stiffness at 0 (462 [435,489] N/m); to high stiffness at +3 (897 [881,913] N/m). Consistency in applying the scale was poor, and the probability of a similar value of stiffness being assigned to the same scale category by different participants was low. CONCLUSIONS:While palpation is used globally by physiotherapists as a readily available and low-cost method of assessing muscle stiffness, these results indicate that it should be used with caution in diagnosing and defining patient care. Clinical assessment of muscle stiffness requires a validated and reliable palpation scale if this metric is to be used to diagnose pathology and develop treatment protocols. Training in this scale should then be recommended to improve reliability in patient assessment. en
dc.format.medium Print-Electronic en
dc.language eng en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Neurourology and urodynamics en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Is it time to rethink using digital palpation for assessment of muscle stiffness? en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1002/nau.24192 en
pubs.issue 1 en
pubs.begin-page 279 en
pubs.volume 39 en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.end-page 285 en
pubs.publication-status Published en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/RestrictedAccess en
pubs.subtype Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't en
pubs.subtype Journal Article en
pubs.elements-id 785876 en
pubs.org-id Bioengineering Institute en
pubs.org-id ABI Associates en
pubs.org-id Engineering en
pubs.org-id Engineering Science en
pubs.org-id Science en
pubs.org-id Science Research en
pubs.org-id Maurice Wilkins Centre (2010-2014) en
dc.identifier.eissn 1520-6777 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-10-31 en
pubs.dimensions-id 31663159 en


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