Range of Motion Testing and “Maximum Medical Improvement”

What is “Range of Motion?”

Range of Motion, or ROM, refers to the movement of a joint, i from its full flexion (bent at its natural angle) to its full extension. Each joint, including the spine has a normal range of motion. In the case of a joint or spinal injury, range of motion can be hindered or even reduced due to tissue damage and/or swelling.

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Correcting Muscle Imbalance Through Muscle Testing

Muscle Imbalance

Recurring back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health, as well as the most frequent cause of activity limitation in people younger than 45 years old.

The belief that back pain will “heal” on its own is a common approach taken by many who suffer from it, however, recent research has shown that in fact the opposite is true.
Recent studies report that, when untreated, back pain may go away temporarily but will most likely return. The study demonstrated that in more than 33% of the people who experience lower back pain, the pain lasts for more than 30 days. Only 9% of the people who had lower back pain for more than 30 days were pain-free 5 years later.

Recurring back pain has been linked to muscular imbalances in the back, stomach or pelvic floor. To understand the correlation between muscular imbalance and back pain, it is important to understand more about muscular imbalance.

What is Muscular Imbalance?

In order for the body to properly move and function, there must be a balance of both the muscle length and strength between the opposing muscles that surround a joint. In or-der to keep the bone centered in the joint properly while in motion, it is necessary for there to be normal amounts of opposing force. Muscle Imbalance occurs when the opposing muscles surrounding a particular joint produce contrasting directions of tension as a result of tightness or weakness. Muscle imbalances are the result of poor posture, stress, repetitive movement, or injury. When a muscle imbalance is present, the body continues to endure movement, however, that movement takes place only along the path of least resistance, which is referred to as relative flexibility.

Muscle Testing

The Consequences of Untreated Muscular Imbalance

When left untreated, muscular imbalance can continue to leave a strain on the affected joint(s), which in turn affects the surrounding nerves, creating a center of pain. The body then attempts to adjust itself in an effort to provide relief, causing muscle imbalance in another part of the body. The result is a continuing cycle of muscle imbalance which will eventually lead to problems ranging from posture to spinal positioning, and ultimately leading to issues walking, sitting and even lying down over time.

Correcting Muscle Imbalance Through Muscle Testing

Because muscle imbalance will eventually lead to larger problems if left untreated, it should not be taken lightly. The key to success in treating any muscle imbalance is to find the root cause of the muscle imbalance and develop a precise treatment plan to correct it. While manual muscle testing has been a commonly used tool to diagnose and treat muscle imbalances, there are significant limitations that can inhibit a proper treatment plan. The reliability of the results are dependent on the muscles that are examined, the experience of the individual performing the examination, and the patient’s age and overall medical condition. Manual muscle testing is considered subjective, with the results based on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being “None” – no visible or palpable contractions, and 5 being “Normal” – Full ROM against gravity, maximum resistance. This scale leaves very little interpretation for the needs and condition of the individual patient, and next to no documentation that can help to address specific conditions that may be overlooked, which can inhibit the development of an effective overall treatment plan.

In contrast to standard manual muscle testing methods, computerized muscle testing allows for objective muscle strength measurements, which can be used for specific isolated muscles or muscle groups. Computerized muscle testing results allows for the formulation of more individualized treatment plans as well as offering the ability to measure progress.

Computerized muscle testing provides clinically relevant results with supporting documentation, supplying medical professionals with information that can help better focus on the specific nature of the imbalance as well as where to focus the treatment efforts, in which there are three main areas:

  • Mobilizing any affected joints and releasing any short, tight muscles and soft tissues
  • Strengthening any longer, weaker muscles that will aid in correcting alignment and movement control
  • Identifying and changing any factors that are contributing to the underlying issue

Joint pain as a result of muscle imbalance can be corrected if properly identified and treated. Most importantly, optimal results are achieved through a proper treatment sequence. Performing random stretches and exercises based on inconclusive data can cause an individual more harm than good.

Kennebec is a leader in Range of Motion and Muscle Testing products, offering computerized muscle testing systems that automatically create two types of session reports sufficient for insurance reimbursement, proving medical necessity, and increasing attorney referrals. Product lines offer two levels of reports, Lite, and Premium, depending on the needs of the client. For more information on MT Lite, MT Premium, Proof Preferred Lite and Proof Preferred Premium, contact them today, where their experts will be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have.

How Positive Reinforcement Of Objective Findings (P.R.O.O.F. Preferred) Can Expedite Your New Jersey Disability Claim

Positive Reinforcement in Range of Motion

In 1948, the state of New Jersey implemented a payroll tax to employers and employees for the purpose of funding a wage-replacement program designed to help employees suffering from a non-work related injury that prevents them from working. New Jersey is only one of five states currently in the United States that has such a program, that is designed to be a source of supplemental income, and is only for situations that are temporary, with benefits lasting up to 28 weeks.

In terms of permanent disability, New Jersey is one of six states that do not specify a guideline to use in evaluating permanent disability, unlike the others, which have adopted a statutory framework similar to the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

In both temporary and permanent cases, claims are sent to state agencies, who review the applications and determine whether the patient is eligible for benefits. And, unlike other states, New Jersey has a higher-than-average wait time for processing of claims, when compared to other states.

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How Insufficient Evidence Can Hurt Your Disability / Worker’s Comp Claim in Florida

The Problems With Insufficient Evidence

Experiencing a physical injury can be a challenging process, in both dealing with the effects of the injury as well as the modifications to one’s lifestyle that are often necessary during the recovery process. An injury that restricts movement can be particularly debilitating, as it can interfere with, and, in some cases, prevent, the ability to work.

In situations where loss of income is an issue, a Workers’ Compensation or Disability Claim may come into play, it is important to understand what each one entails under specific Florida State Guidelines as well as what needs to be done to ensure a successful claim.

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Why An Accurate Assessment of MMI Is Crucial To PA Workers’ Comp / Disability Cases

MMI in Worker’s Compensation

The most fundamental aspect of any Workers’ Compensation or Disability Claim in Pennsylvania is when it is decided that the individual in question has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). MMI is the opinion of a medical professional that no further medical care or treatment will lessen a patient’s impairment from an injury.

If a person has sustained multiple injuries, it can become complicated as different injuries may reach MMI at different times. In addition to this, insurance companies may differ from a patient’s doctor as to whether MMI has been reached, and, in the case of a Workers’ Compensation claim, a hearing may be required where a state-appointed Commission will decide.

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Why The Right Medical Reports Matter In New York Disability Claims

The Right Medical Reports Matter

As of January 2012, the State of New York released their updated Guidelines for Determining Permanent Impairment and Loss of Wage Earning Capacity. These will apply to any case without a medical opinion determining permanent impairment with a rating based on the 1996 Guidelines.

Getting the Right Paperwork

Each state has their own particular Guidelines when it comes to Workers’ Compensation and Disability claims, but what all states have in common is one thing: the need for proof that an injury is present, as well as the extent of the injury.

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The Importance of Accurate and Objective Documentation in Personal Injury Cases

Why Accurate Documentation is so Important

The biggest issue that has remained consistent throughout the history of personal injury claims is the documented evidence of a patient’s recovery, or lack thereof. This evidence affects many factors of the case, including whether or not a patient will receive disability benefits, the amount, if any, of a settlement, whether an insurance company will pay for the necessary treatment, and even liability when it applies.

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The Differences Between Single and Dual Inclinometry

Single and Dual Inclinometry

The ultimate goal of any healthcare professional is to allow each patient to regain the necessary function to be able to resume the activities that constitute their daily life. A crucial element of this role is determining whether an individual possesses the appropriate Range Of Motion (ROM) to carry forward without pain.

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