Muscle fatigue is a common symptom but there are no universally accepted methods for quantitating the function of voluntary muscle. This paper describes three main methods of assessment: simple clinical tests of muscle function; thermal probe measurements of metabolic heat production during muscular contraction; needle biopsy studies of muscle structure and chemistry. These methods, though at a relatively early stage of development, have given promising results which suggest that they could be useful in assessing possible new forms of treatment in patients with neuromuscular disorders.
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