Muscle strength and resistance are objectively measured with Cybex isokinetic test and exercise device and the performance-enhancing exercises are implemented depending on these measurements.
Literally “isokinesis” means “equal motion.” In the context of exercise and muscle contraction, isokinetic exercise means muscle construction done with a fixed angular speed. Special devices are developed for the isokinetic exercise. On these devices, the movement can only be carried out with a constant speed independent from the force applied by the patient.
For example, the quadriceps femoris muscle, which is found in the front of the femur is responsible for the extension of the leg. In contrary, the hamstring muscles are responsible for the flexion of the leg. The whole movement has an angle between 0 and 135 degrees. If the movement is carried out with constant resistance and weight, the muscles are stretched less than desired at certain degrees and more than desired at other degrees. If the patient contracts the muscles more than desired, the movement may suddenly accelerate and cause tendon stretches and injuries. Isokinetic exercise provides an equalizing resistance to the force of the contracted muscle and thus the speed is held constant.
Isokinetic systems are used for the testing and improvement of the performance of knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, ankle joints, and muscles. Sportsmen use often isokinetic exercise to increase their performance. Isokinetic exercises are also useful in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis and anterior cruciate ligament sprains.
Robotic physical therapy systems help the patient to recover as quickly and accurately as possible.
Before starting the exercise, the characteristics of the patient are recorded in the system. The movements, which should be evaluated, are determined (e.g. flexion and extension in the knee joint). The patient is briefed about the device and exercise. Following the general warming up, the patient is positioned properly in the device. The joints, which will be not used during the exercise, are immobilized in order to execute the movement safely and efficiently. The patient is led to warm up while he/she is fastened to the device. The suitable test and exercise protocol is selected in the device. First the healthy side is evaluated so that the patient can easily adapt himself/herself to the exercise and the normal performance of the patient can be observed. Then the exercise is initiated on the weak side. During the testing and exercise, the patient is motivated and encouraged with verbal comments.
Isokinetic exercise may be not suitable for patients with cardiovascular diseases. In patients, who have uncontrolled high blood pressure, aneurysm in cerebral vessels, a history of stroke in the last 6 months, a history of heart attack in the last 6 weeks, lumbar surgery in the last three months, untreated inguinal hernia, angina pectoris and complain of paresis during the test, isokinetic exercises should be avoided. The physician or therapist will check whether there are any risks related to the exercise.
In the acute phase of the musculoskeletal system injuries; if the joints are swollen, there is an important limitation in the joint movements, abnormal movements are observed related to the injuries in the structures supporting the stability of the joint, the implementation of the exercise should be avoided.