Other Subject Area

Musculoskeletal Assessments


International Journal of Exercise Science 14(3): 563-577, 2021. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reliability of a fixed tension scale instrumentation, comparing the intra-rater and inter-rater reliability between seating and standing measurement techniques. Instrumentation developed from this study will be utilized to assess isometric neck strength in future studies comparing neck strengthening protocols. METHODS: Isometric neck strength for eight movements (cervical/capital flexion, cervical/capital extension, left/right lateral flexion, left/right cervical rotation) as well as anthropometric measurements were evaluated for thirty-one participants through the use of a novel neck strength assessment protocol. RESULTS: The fixed tension scale instrumentation and methods used in this study demonstrated good to excellent intra-rater reliability (ICC range from 0.78 to 0.97) as well as moderate to excellent inter-rater reliability (ICC range from 0.73 to 0.91) for both measurement techniques. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: This study will provide foundational knowledge for the reliable assessment of neck strength. Additionally, the findings will provide a cost-effective, portable, and reliable instrument for measuring isometric neck strength. CONCLUSIONS: Seated and standing measurement techniques demonstrated similar intra and inter-rater reliability. Inter-rater reliability tended to be lower with motions (capital flexion and extension) that required the participants to face directly towards or away from the instrumentation. This could be due to participant positioning or unfamiliarity with those specific movements. The assessment protocol utilized in this study demonstrated comparable inter-rater reliability to another cost-effective method for evaluating isometric neck strength.