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The relationship between concurrent visualization and strength

20 May 1990


In the treatment of a knee injury, or during the course of rehabilitation following knee surgery, the emphasis lies mainly in strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint in order to stabilize it. The knee joint is not highly stable to begin with, therefore, the strengthening process is a crucial factor in returning the patient to his normal activities as soon as possible.

This study was designed to explore the effect of concurrent visualization as feedback on the force production of the quadriceps muscle in the non-dominant extremity. That is, the patient was actually watching his/her quadricep muscle contract during the strength test. Watching the muscle contract provides information on how hard the muscle is working and may serve a motivational function. The sight of the muscle contracting may be sufficient enough to inspire persons to work harder and persist longer at increasing their strength output.

Forty six subjects (17 males, 29 females) were randomly assigned to either.a blind or visual group. Each subject participated in two different strength tests at 60 degrees per second on a Cybex IT machine, with two minutes rest time between the tests. Group one members were unable to see their test leg during either of the tests, and group two were able to see their test leg during the second test. Results showed no significant differences in strength increase between the two groups (p>.05).


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