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Measurement of Back Strength

As part of a return-to-work evaluation, I was recently tested for back strength. I was afraid of hurting myself again. I don’t think I gave my best effort. Will this affect the results?

This depends on the kind of test used to measure back strength. A special piece of equipment called a dynamometer can be used to measure ratios.

A range of test scores is used to account for fear, pain, or muscle stiffness during testing. This range is called the acceptance zone. Physical Therapists who take these measurements know about these factors and take them into consideration during the evaluation.

Zeevir Dvir, PhD, and Jennifer L. Keating. Trunk Extension Effort in Patients with Chronic Low Back Dysfunction. In Spine. April 1, 2003. Vol. 28. No. 7. Pp. 685-692.