Range of motion refers to the total amount of available movement of a specific joint. A goniometer is a functional capacity device used to measure angles of both active and passive motion. Traditional goniometers can be used to measure flexion and extension; abduction and adduction; and rotation in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle. The goniometer is designed with three parts:
- The main body: The main body of the goniometer is designed like a protractor and may form a full or half circle. There is a measuring scale designed around the body of the goniometer. This scale is able to extend from either 0 to 180 degrees and 180 to 0 degrees for the half circle models, or from 0 to 360 degrees and from 360 to 0 degrees on the full circle models.
- The stationary arm: The stationary arm is connected to the body of the goniometer and therefore can’t move on its own.
- The moving arm: The moving arm is attached to the fulcrum at the center and can move freely on the body of the goniometer.
How do Goniometer’s work?
Using the recommended testing position, the patient’s proximal joint is stabilized while the practitioner gently moves the distal joint through the range of motion until it is determined to find the end range. Aligning the goniometer, the practitioner makes a record of the starting measurement. Then following through the available range of motion, the goniometer is used to read and record the results.
An Example of a Functional Capacity Goniometer
The Baseline 180-Degree Digit One Handed Stainless Steel Goniometer is an innovative device that allows for measurement of patient’s fingers using only one hand to help stabilize the patient with practitioner’s other hand and/or record the measurements. This is a significant improvement over other devices which require two hands to perform range of motion testing.
The Baseline 180-Degree Digit Goniometer is able to measure:
Goniometers are a useful tool to have in every physical or occupational therapy clinic. It’s one of those tools that should be found in every treatment room. The Baseline 180-Degree Digit Goniometer is easy to use and reliable making it the perfect choice for a functional capacity device for measuring the hand and fingers range of motion.