Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Active Living

Novel technology for assessing muscle tone and stiffness (Myoton)

Led by Prof Maria Stokes

Reliable, valid and objective clinical measurement is key to advancing rehabilitation. Our musculoskeletal researchers, led by Prof Maria Stokes, are developing applications of a new technology that offers a non-invasive and painless measure of the health of muscles.

Our overall goal is to establish Myoton technology as an accurate and reliable routine clinical tool. The main uses would be to detect early signs of stiffness to aid prevention of muscle injuries in sport, and to aid assessment of muscle in musculoskeletal and neurological disorders, and monitor effects of treatment.

Our initial muscle research aims to prevent injuries by using the technology to detect abnormalities that indicate risk of injury before symptoms occur. Where injuries have occurred, the technology would guide treatment and monitor recovery to inform the clinician and patient when it is safe to return to full activity. 

A series of muscle research phases is under way, involving: studies of reliability and validity; basic science studies to increase understanding of the physiological relevance of muscle characteristics tested by the device; producing databases of values for different muscles in various healthy and patient populations; and clinical studies to provide evidence that Myoton technology can improve clinical practice.

The ultimate aim of our muscle research is to implement Myoton devices as part of the physiotherapist’s and physician’s routine assessment kit for rapid, objective, non-invasive testing for injury prevention.

We also plan to explore the potential of the technology for assessing muscles in neurological and respiratory conditions, along with colleagues in the relevant research clusters.

For neurological conditions, such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease, Myoton technology offers a potentially powerful tool for assessing muscle tone and stiffness, which could be used to assess the effects of drugs to reduce muscle tone and rigidity.

Measures the mechanical properties of muscle
The MyotonPRO device

The MyotonPRO device

A hand-held device, known as the MyotonPRO, is placed on the skin over the muscle. A brief, gentle tap from the probe causes the muscle to oscillate. The oscillations are analysed automatically by the device to calculate the muscle's mechanical characteristics, such as its tone, stiffness and how elastic it is.

Privacy Settings