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1980 Publications

Neurophysiologic inhibition of strength following tactile stimulation of the Nicholas JA, Melvin M, Saraniti AJ. - last modified 2013-05-20 15:32
Am J Sports Med. 1980 May-Jun;8(3):181-6.


A modified shoulder abduction manual muscle test was incorporated in this study to demonstrate strength changes following tactile stimulation of the skin. Resistance was applied to the distal radioulnar joint and the stimulus (scratching) was applied inferior to the clavicle on the clavicular head of the pectoralis major muscle after maximum contraction. An electromechanical device quantified the isotonic (eccentric) measurements. A standard dynamometer system (Cybex II) was used to measure isometric strength. The nondominant side was used as the "control." Two populations, a normal (random) and a strong (athletic) group, were studied. Twenty-three persons (52% women, 48% men; mean age, 27 years; mean height, 67 inches (170 cm); and mean weight, 147 lb (66.7 kg)) were in the "normal" group and 17 persons (100% men; mean age, 25 years; mean height, 74 inches (188 cm); and mean weight, 215 lb (97.5kg)) were in the "strong" group. The random population showed a 19% decrease in strength following tactile stimulation as measured by the manual muscle testing unit; the athletic population showed a 17% decrease in strength. With the isometric measurements, the random population had an 8% decrease in mean strength following the scratch but the athletic population showed no significant decrease. The capability to quantify objectively manual muscle tests is discussed in relation to the importance of the proximal musculature.