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December 2020

Interrater and Intrarater Reliability of a Handheld Myotonometer in Measuring Mechanical Properties of the Neck and Orofacial Muscles

Authors: Serkan Tas 1, Ümit Yasar 2, Besime Ahu Kaynak 1

Author information:

  1. Toros University, School of Health Sciences, Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Mersin, Turkey
  2. Ardahan University, Nihat Delibalta Vocational School, Laboratory and Veterinary Health Department, Ardahan, Turkey

Journal: Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics - November 2020, In press, Corrected Proof (DOI: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2020.08.002)

Objective: The purpose this study was to investigate the reliability of a handheld myotonometer in measuring the mechanical properties of the neck and orofacial muscles in asymptomatic individuals.

Methods: The study included 16 healthy participants. The mechanical properties (frequency, decrement, stiffness, relaxation time, and creep) of the selected muscles were measured with a MyotonPRO myotonometer (Myoton AS, Tallinn, Estonia). The sternocleidomastoid, upper trapezius, cervical extensor, and masseter muscles were selected to determine the reliability of the device. Measurements were performed by 2 examiners to determine interrater reliability; for intrarater reliability, an examiner repeated the measurements 1 week after the first measurements.

Results: The results revealed moderate to excellent intrarater and interrater reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients: 0.50-0.95) in measuring muscle mechanic properties. The standard error of measurement in the tested muscles ranged from 0.3 to 0.8 Hz for frequency, from 7.4 to 20.9 N/m for stiffness, from 0.1 to 0.2 for decrement, and from 0.8 to 1.4 ms for relaxation time. The minimum detectable change ranged from 0.8 to 2.2 Hz for frequency, from 20.5 to 57.9 N/m for stiffness, from 0.2 to 0.6 for decrement, from 2.2 to 3.9 ms for relaxation time, and from 0.2 to 0.3 for creep. In addition, the coefficients of variation were below 9.1% for all the assessed parameters.

Conclusion: The obtained results demonstrate that the MyotonPRO device is a reliable and repeatable tool to quantify the frequency, stiffness, decrement, relation time, and creep of the neck and orofacial muscles in asymptomatic individuals.

 

Keywords: Neck, Face, Muscles, Reproducibility of Results

The present study shows that the interrater and intrarater reliability of the MyotonPRO range from good to excellent in measuring the mechanical properties of the neck and orofacial muscles in asymptomatic individuals. In addition, the coefficients of variation for measurements performed by different observers on different days ranged between 2.2% and 9.9%, which is quite acceptable for biological material measurements. The obtained results demonstrate that the MyotonPRO device is a reliable and repeatable tool to quantify the frequency, stiffness, decrement, relation time, and creep of the sternocleidomastoid, upper trapezius, cervical extensor, and masseter muscles.

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