Clinical measurement of muscle tone using a velocity-corrected modified Ashworth scale

A. W. Smith*, M. Jamshidi, S. K. Lo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: To develop a new form of the modified Ashworth scale (MAS) for muscle-tone assessment that combines the MAS score with the passive muscle-stretching velocity during the assessment of muscle tone, resulting in a measure that has higher intertester reliability than the MAS. Design: Twenty-two volunteer subjects with spinal cord injuries at a tertiary care outpatient and inpatient spinal cord injury rehabilitation center affiliated with a university were recruited for this study. Results: A decision tree in which V-MAS scores were obtained was developed. The data obtained from three independent raters, when adjusted by means of the V-MAS, showed an excellent interrater reliability. Conclusions: Results indicated that the V-MAS is a more reliable measure. In addition, the resulting units of the V-MAS, ranging from 0 to 1, are of the same form as pendulum test data. The V-MAS method is quite simple to use because the rater need only measure the angular range and duration of the passive movement to calculate average velocity during the MAS assessment in addition to the normal MAS rating of muscle tone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-206
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomechanics
  • Muscle Spasticity
  • Physical Therapy
  • Regression Analysis
  • Rehabilitation


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