MedX equipment was developed to provide superior isolation of the spinal musculature, that would allow for specific muscle testing and rehabilitation of the spine. Most of the research done on the training specifications, reliability, and validity of strength testing was completed by the University of Florida- Gainsville and University of SanDiego’s exercise physiology departments beginning in the early 1990’s.
MedX equipment is specifically engineered to improve the isolation of the spinal musculature. Without the specific design of the machine components, other muscle groups may compensate which would lead to poor validity. Counterbalance systems off-set the affects of gravity when testing and exercising in the forward plane. The CAM system provides variable resistance that optimally loads the isolated muscle throughout the range of motion. Together the restraints, the counterbalance, and the CAM provide accurate isolation and strong validity for assessing the spinal musculature. Research provided by Graves, 1994 compared three different types of lumbar strengthening equipment including Nautilus, Cybex, and MedX and found superior isolation with MedX equipment.
Inter-reliability and intra-reliability has been established for each MedX machine. Legget et al, 1991, and Graves et al, 1990, studied the repeatability of strength testing. They found high correlation coefficients for each machine at every testing angle (r= 0.90 – 0.97). Therefore, MedX testing is considered very accurate both between testers and examiners.
The MedX Advantage
As providers using MedX to treat neck and back pain, we have identified many advantages in using this equipment to strengthen the spine. MedX allows us to safely isolate the spinal muscles at a much greater intensity level without compromise to the disc. This initiates remodeling and rebuilding the paraspinal muscle tissue and breaking the pain cycle. Secondly, the therapists are able to deliver calculated doses of exercise which increases safety, efficacy, and the ability to gauge the patient’s progress. Without this isolation provided in the MedX, other muscle groups tend to compensate which make it impossible to improve the patient’s spinal health. Finally, the positive feedback to the patient is very motivating and rewarding, as patients can visually see their progress in strength and range of motion.