An isokinetic dynamometer is a piece of equipment used in physical therapeutic and sports fitness contexts that often resembles a positioning chair attached to an adjustable strength machine and computer control unit. Essentially, the device measures performances of different muscle groups; however, complex applications enable a wide range of sensitive force measurements for numerous angles and speeds. Clinicians can program a sequence of test and exercise modes that target all of the body's peripheral joints. Measurements may include strength, torque, resistance, and fatigue.
The performances of target muscles are recorded onto the computer, expressed as torque, or the force applied in a certain distance from the axis of joint rotation. An isokinetic dynamometer can accommodate many varieties of muscle movements, such as isometric, isokinetic, and isotonic movements. The dynamometer modulates forces to prevent injury, as it reacts to external forces and ceases function when an applied force stops. This functionality makes the machine a vital component in physical therapy and rehabilitation testing.
The technology accommodates many evaluative and rehabilitative methods in all the major joints of the body. Among the possible movements, an isokinetic dynamometer might be used to measure flexion, pronation, abduction, and other movements, as well as their counter forces. Computer and touch panel control allow operators to make adjustments to forces, speeds, and ranges of motion for specific patient requirements. Biofeedback data is collected and made available for analysis and printout.
The automated force limits programmed into an isokinetic dynamometer allow movement within safe ranges not to exceed desirable force levels. This allows the equipment to aid in reducing joint effusion and developing range of motion and strength. Attachments provide for interfacing with joints such as ankle, knee, and shoulder. The motor may rotate and shift to fit the required position, and work with seat and stabilization adjustments to provide for optimal positioning.
The isokinetic dynamometer may be used to test and evaluate muscle performance for professional athletes. Professional sports organizations use the technology to better assess athlete health, performance, and risk of injury, and also to spot any potential areas for improvement. By isolating individual joints, specific muscle groups can be targeted and performance compared.
Not only does this equipment assist patients in rehabilitation from injury; it may help them develop function in new limbs or muscle tissue. With precise measurement of torque and range of motion, muscle performance remains safely under accurate control. Testing then offers reliable data from which to implement more effective outcomes.