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Joint motion sense
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Test to be performed - Joint movement sense
Joint movement sense measures the individual’s ability to perceive the active change in position of a joint with vision occluded and minimal exteroceptive cues.  Joint movement sense is also referred to as kinesthesia.

Expected findings - The individual will be able to perceive the passive joint movement accurately without hesitation.

Equipment - None

Testing procedure

  1. 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.) in a certain direction, and I want you to describe the direction of the movement as soon as you feel it.”
  2. Demonstrate the procedure with the patient’s eyes open until the patient understands the procedure to be performed.
  3. The patient closes his/her eyes, or vision is otherwise occluded.
  4. Hold the body segment being tested on the lateral surfaces of the limb to minimize cues from touch and pressure sensations.
  5. Passively move the individual’s joint in one direction. The increments of movement should be relatively small and avoid the full end range of motion.
  6. Have the patient indicate the direction of movement.
  7. The procedure is repeated enough times to conclude if joint movement sense is intact or impaired. A suggested minimum number of trials is five per joint.
  8. Document findings.
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Section: Joint motion
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