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Power Versus Strength

Michelle Millner, PT, DPT, OCS


Muscle Power and Muscle Strength are not the same thing.  Muscle power is defined as the product of dynamic muscular force and muscle contraction velocity. To measure power, you multiply the speed at which the muscle contracts with the force it exerts.

Muscle strength is defined as the maximum amount of force a muscle can exert against some form of resistance in a single effort.

Why is this important? Arthritis researchers have been working on understanding how osteoarthritis affects muscular performance in those affected with the disease. We know that strength has a significant impact on function of individuals with osteoarthritis.

Researchers at the Tufts University have found that power was a more better predictor of performance on tasks such as walking, rising from a chair, or climbing a flight of stairs. So what does this mean for you? It means that rather than focusing on developing strength alone when managing osteoarthritis, it may be more beneficial to focus on developing power.

In other words focus on being able to generate force and speed. If you are having challenges with movement, or pain with functional activities secondary to osteoarthritis, consider coming in for a thorough evaluation at Professional Physical Therapy and Training. We offer one hour individual appointments. No Aides, no assistants. Just orthopedic clinical specialists to help you move well and pain free.



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