The vast majority of injuries we see are caused by, or result in significant strength deficits. To accurately guide your rehab, at Parkside we aim to base our strength prescriptions on accurate, validated methods of assessing strength.
To do this we can use:
- Our hands: performing tests where you push into us and we assess the side to side difference and grade your strength on your ability to push back on us
- Functional tests: how many single leg bridges can you do, how many times can you stand up from a bench with one leg, how much weight can you squat?’
- Power tests: how far can you hop on one leg
- Dynamometer testing: using a hand-held force plate we get you to push into the device and measure the force you can produce.
All of these testing methods have advantages and disadvantages. The first method can only detect massive changes in strength; anything less than 30% loss of strength is missed in 80% of cases. Functional tests often cannot isolate strength in one muscle group and often depend on your skill, balance and coordination to produce the movement required. Maximal strength testing with heavy weights may not be appropriate while you are injured while hop tests need space, skill and co-ordination and may be affected by your confidence more than your strength. Hand-held dynamometer testing is great for shoulders and elbows but the strength of the tester limits it’s use for large lower limb muscle groups.
Enter the AxIT system!
We are excited to bring the next generation of accurate strength assessment to Parkside from January 2020. Australian start-up, Strength By Numbers has addressed these problems and developed the AxIT system. The weird name comes from the medical abbreviation for “Assessment” which in Dr Scribble is written as “Ax”, so the name means “Assess It!”
The system consists of 3 devices
- Push-It device: this is like our existing hand-held dynamometer but a much better design which will be far easier for us to use and much more comfortable for you to push into.
- Pull it device: this one can attach to cables and handles and measure pulling strength and allow us to measure large muscle groups and movements like quads, hamstrings and lifting/pulling with accuracy we’ve never had before.
- Stomp-It device: these are a pair of force plates which we use for weight bearing tests for the upper and lower limb. Squats, lunges, jumping, hopping and landing can now be measured for side to side differences in strength and power like never before, as well as pushups and advanced shoulder testing.
The devices connect to a tablet via Bluetooth and your results are shown immediately in graphics that are easy to interpret. This allows us to set a baseline strength measurement and design your strength program accurately and most importantly, re-measure your progress.
We have the Power
Getting you strong is one part of the return to sport process. The next level is to develop your power, or ability to use your strength quickly. This is important for sports where you need to sprint, jump, throw or change direction. The AxIT system tells us what your Rate of Force Development is (RFD) and allows us to fine tune your exercises to improve your power and explosive ability. Any of you who’ve done our ACL rehab program will have done this with hopping, box jumps and landings and we will be able to accurately measure your power from now on using the Stomp-It force plates.
Been told your glutes “aren’t firing”, or your hamstring is “compensating” for “gluteal amnesia”. Has someone put their hands on the back of your leg and told you to lift your leg off the bed as a way to diagnose this sort of stuff. This sort of absolute bullshit has been debunked a decade ago but we still hear it from our clients who’ve been elsewhere. Now we can accurately measure the “activation” or “firing” by using the AxIT system to give you hard data and no-nonsense exercise prescription.
Other exciting uses
Our geeky heads are spinning with the options we now have for using this amazing tool. Some of the things we’ve come up with in 24 hours
- Checking exercises produce load above 2 x bodyweight for stimulating bone density in osteoporosis
- Measuring side to side differences in sit to stand strength in our knee and hip surgery patients
- Shoulder screening tests for throwing and swimming athletes
Checking squat and deadlift technique for side to side deficits in real time with real weight!
- Late stage rehab testing to identify small changes in strength (the last 10%)
- Pre-season hamstring and adductor testing for soccer players.
- Pre- and post testing for fitness transformations or gym program changes
Screening lower limb strength tests for runners
We’ll be using the AxIT system as a routine part of our Physio consultations.
If you’d like to get a detailed strength and power assessment, we’re offering an introductory special deal if you book an AxIT Assessment Consultation. This will include:
- Injury and Training interview to identify pre-existing problems and your goals
AxIT Strength Assessment consultation
- Individualised for your sport or injury history
- Personalised report with detailed results of strength, power and imbalances.
- Recommendations for training alterations and progressions to address issues identified by the testing.
- All of this: Gap Free with your Private Health Fund. If you’re not in a health fund the investment is only $50.
If we identify an injury that requires more detailed management, your Initial Physiotherapy consult will be at Standard Consultation rates.
To Book, simply call 95483372 and ask for an AxIT Intro session.