|Test to be performed - Joint position sense
Joint position sense measures the individual’s ability to perceive the position of a joint with his/her vision occluded and minimal exteroceptive cues. Clinically, joint position sense is often referred to as proprioception.
Expected findings - The individual will be able to replicate the joint position accurately with the opposite extremity or describe the position verbally.
Equipment - None
- Explain the procedure to the patient with his/her eyes open. For example, “I am going to move your wrist (or ankle, shoulder, elbow, etc.) into a certain position, and I would like you to imitate the position with your other wrist."
- Demonstrate the procedure with the patient’s eyes open until the patient understands the procedure to be performed.
- The patient closes his/her eyes, or vision is otherwise occluded.
- Position the body segment being tested and then passively position the individual’s joint in space. Hold the lateral surfaces of the limb to minimize cues from touch and pressure sensations.
- Move the body segment into a position and either have the patient maintain the position or assist the patient in maintaining the position if needed.
- Have the patient duplicate the position with the opposite extremity.
- The procedure is repeated enough times to conclude if joint position sense is intact or impaired. A suggested minimum number of trials is five per joint.
- Document findings.