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You may not be familiar with the term, but if you’ve ever visited Drs. McSweeney or Allen, you’ve experienced a form of muscle testing. It’s a simple yet informative procedure that helps the chiropractors assess the body’s muscles and their connection to the nervous system to check for imbalances. Here’s what else you should understand about muscle testing, which also goes by the name applied kinesiology.


The art of muscle testing actually goes by a number of names, including:

  • contact reflex analysis
  • indicator muscle testing
  • strength testing
  • meridian muscle testing
  • manual muscle testing

Dr. McSweeney uses a blend of several techniques for a procedure that she prefers to describe as muscle-to-nerve testing. Her approach helps her identify muscle imbalance, a scenario in which two or more muscles aren’t working together properly. In many cases, this is a combination of one tight, overactive muscle and a looser, less active muscle. You feel its symptoms – pain, limited range of motion, injury. And when these muscle imbalances are associated with problems in the joints, tendons, ligaments, or bones, every-day movements like walking, sitting, getting up, bending down are compromised, as are sports performance and general quality of life.


If you’ve been struggling with pain in the back, knees or hips, you have ongoing spinal issues, dysfunction in the wrists or elbows, or regular headaches, muscle-to-nerve testing is a quick, painless way for Dr. McSweeney to identify the root issues. She’ll apply gentle, precise force to an arm, leg or another body part while you resist. It’s a simple test that will help her evaluate what’s going on and whether her treatments are helping. Think of nerve-to-muscle testing as a form of biofeedback.

Learn more about what you can expect at a visit with Dr. McSweeney, or schedule your appointment today.