Friday, October 21, 2011

BRIEF HISTORY OF MUSCLE TESTING

Wilhelmine Wright and Robert W. Lovett, MD,
Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard University
Medical School, were the originators of the muscle
testing system that incorporated the effect of gravity.1 , 2
Janet Merrill, PT, Director of Physical Therapeutics at
Children's Hospital and the Harvard Infantile Paralysis
Commission in Boston, an early colleague of Dr.
Lovett, stated that the tests were used first by Wright
in Lovett's office gymnasium in 1 9 1 2 . 3 The seminal
description of the tests used today was written by Wright
and published in 19121 ; this was followed by an article
by Lovett and Martin in 1 9 1 6 4 and by Wright's book
in 1 9 2 8 . 5 Miss Wright was a precursor of the physical
therapist of today, there being no educational programs
in physical therapy in her time, but she headed Lovett's
physical therapeutic clinic. Lovett credits Wright fully
in his 1917 book, Treatment of Infantile Paralysis,6 with