This one will be short but I wonder if Manual Muscle Testing should really be renamed Postural Stability Testing?
During manual muscle testing, which is often if not always performed in an open kinetic chain manner, a "muscle" may demonstrate high strength or activation levels...and it may not.
The local region tested may demonstrate a faulty pattern but so can the global / whole body pattern as well.
We know (perhaps assume with high confidence?) that muscles need a fixed point in order to pull toward. If that fixed point is relatively "stable", then I would think that the potential for ideal neuromuscular output would be greater.
But what if that fixed point is not actually "fixed"? That is, what if postural stability proximal to the region being tested isn't actually "stable". Would you get a reliable (let alone valid) reading?
Also, what about the true function of the muscle for that given position in which it is being test? Tonic? Phasic? Reflexive? Support function? Stepping/Grapsing function?
Do we even want full neuromuscular activity (hypothetical example: 100% MVC) in the first place?
There goes the can of worms...
I know many have already thought about this before and perhaps this was one of the things Janda was thinking about when he came up with his testing arsenal. But since it was currently at the top of my head, I thought I'd just blog about it.