I am a gymnast on a college team. I sprained my ankle six weeks ago and still can’t land my jumps. Is there any way to find out exactly which muscles are weak so I can concentrate on those before my next competition?

Physical therapists are trained to measure muscle strength. A simple method of strength measurement is called manual muscle testing. The therapists resists the movement of each muscle and gives it a score from 0 to 5. This test is subjective, which means it’s based on the therapist’s opinion. It does give some general information.

For more specific details, a device called a dynamometer can be used. Again, the physical therapist is the one who uses this tool. Recent research using dynamometry to measure muscles around the ankle has been reported.

The researchers found that weakness of the muscles along the inside of the ankle may result in ankle sprains. A dynamometer test will show you if this is your problem. Specific exercises can be prescribed based on the results of the dynamometer test.