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Universal goniometer and electro-goniometer intra
Both universal goniometer and electro-goniometer are used for measuring joint range of motion in physiotherapy. Active knee extension test is a way to assess hamstring shortness in patients with chronic low back pain. The aim of this study was to assess universal goniometer and electro-goniometer reliability in measuring knee angle during active knee extension test.
This was an intra-examiner reliability study between three measurements of knee extension angle that conducted on 45 patients with chronic low back pain having short hamstring muscle that referring to Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences clinic from 2016 to 2017. Knee extension angle was measured three times during active knee extension test with both universal goniometer and electro-goniometer.
The measurement of knee extension angle was done at the beginning, middle and the end of one single session by one experienced physiotherapist.
The intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and standard error of measurements (SEM) were used to quantify intra-examiner reliability.
For both methods, the reliability test values were found to be greater than 0.7 in the range of 0.92 to 0.99 (CI 95% ranged over = 0.94 to 0.99), which are classified as good reliability. The SEMs ranged from 1.04° to 2.16° for both scales.
Universal goniometer in clinical evaluations of patients (as they are easy to be employed) and electro-goniometer in laboratory studies (as they are more accurate) are reliable.
All over the world, back pain imposes a large amount of direct and indirect costs to health care and treatment systems and is one of the main reasons for the absence of people from the workplace. Over 80% of people have experienced at least one back pain during their life.
Several studies have reported various general factors such as obesity, smoking, and long-term sedation as risk factors for back pain. Also, hamstring shortness is known as a risk factor for back pain. So that having a short hamstring muscle is usually reported in patients with back pain. In fact, it is assumed that a short hamstring can disrupt the biomechanics of the pelvis and the lumbar and lead to back pain
Different Electric goniometer platform techniques are used for the shortened muscle stretching and increase flexibility, such as positional stretching, dynamic stretching, static stretching, and ballistic stretching which can include static stretching exercises. Although it will be possible to fix the shortened muscle with continuous and static stretch and with this technique, the structure of the soft tissues can be altered and it can cause the collagen fibers and their length increase. But these changes are not lasting
On the other hand, evidence has shown that using long-term strengthening exercises results in a lasting and durable change in muscle
Clinically, hamstring length can be measured indirectly which is carried out by measuring hip’s range of motion (ROM) during the passive straight leg raise (SLR) or active knee extension (AKE) tests. According to Lusin and Gajdosik, to measure the length of the hamstring, the AKE test is recommended which is a better choice than the passive SLR. AKE test has very high reliability. This test is remarked safe, as the participant dictates his/her end of range
Given that the standard (universal) goniometer is affordable and available if used appropriately, it is a useful measurement tool that can be used to do the AKE test. On the other hand, using the electro- goniometer, the AKE test can be performed with high precision, but the electro- goniometer, unlike the standard goniometer, is not easily accessible and it is costly
Considering the mentioned cases and the importance of hamstring and the tests for checking the length of it, the aim of this study was set out to determine the within-session reliability of universal goniometer and electro-goniometer for measuring knee extension during AKE test in a single session. Comparing these two different instruments in measuring knee angle may be useful in choosing a proper method in clinical practice and/or research projects.
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