What Is a Kinesiology Test?

Sandra Koehler

The body methodically coordinates all of its different systems to function and move properly. The process of movement is actually very technical in nature, and is tested and studied through a scientific field called kinesiology. When an evaluation is given to test the body's efficiency, accuracy, and overall performance, is it called a kinesiology test.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Similar to the faulty connection of a battery causing an instrument to function improperly, when the body is experiencing health issues, a major clue to the problem is movement disorders or difficulties. By utilizing a kinesiology test, medical professionals can get a better overall picture of the way the injury, illness, or disease is affecting the body. Since medical theories suggest that every system in the body works in unison with the rest, an internal health problem can cause weakness or movement problems in the muscles directly related to the area affected; the results of a kinesiology test can provide valuable insight. This assessment can provide beneficial information not only to movement dysfunction but also to the internal functions of the body, such as chemical, structural, or neurological problems affecting the way the body reacts and moves.

Since even minor changes in the way an individual moves can have an impact on other parts of the body, discovering these variations and attempting to correct them is important. Consider an injury to the ankle causing pain. In turn, this pain triggers the body to compensate by limping. Limping can throw off the overall movement by changing the way the leg, hip, and even the torso react. If left unmanaged, compensational techniques can lead to more dysfunction. Though not used as a means of diagnosing a medical condition, by administering a kinesiology test, the affected areas can be evaluated and a treatment protocol can be put in place to help correct the problem and limit compensation techniques.

A kinesiology test is typically administered to an area of dysfunction. The main technique utilized is called manual muscle testing. This is a simple test to analyze the way the body moves and how much power is behind each movement. The affected body part is moved through its full range of motion, using resistance, and the results are graded. Generally if there is no disruption in movement, the muscle being testing will be able to run through the full range of motion against significant resistance without a problem. If no movement or muscular contraction is present, a grade of “zero” is given. If the muscle contracts but the limb cannot move, the grade is “trace.” This grading system allows medical professionals to detect movement difficulties and begin a treatment regimen to decrease the chances of permanent mobility problems.

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