On the reliability and validity of manual muscle testing: a literature review

Scott C Cuthbert and George J Goodheart Jr.

The aim of this report is to provide an historical overview, literature
review, description, synthesis and critique of the reliability and
validity of manual
muscle test (MMT) in the evaluation of the musculoskeletal and nervous
systems.  More than
100 studies related to MMT and the applied kinesiology chiropractic
technique (AK) that employs MMT in its methodology were reviewed. The results show that there is evidence
for good reliability and validity in the use of MMT for patients with
neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction. The observational cohort studies
demonstrated good external and internal validity, and the 12 randomized
controlled trials (RCTs) that were reviewed show that MMT findings were
not dependent upon examiner bias.  The authors conclude that the MMT
employed by chiropractors, physical therapists, and neurologists was
shown to be a clinically useful tool, but its ultimate scientific
validation and application requires testing that employs sophisticated
research models in the areas of neurophysiology, biomechanics, RCTs,
and statistical analysis.

Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 2007,

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