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Learn Goniometery & Range of Motion

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A goniometer is a device used in physical therapy to measure a joint’s range of motion (ROM). There are two “arms”—one that is stationary and one that is movable—that are hinged together. Each is positioned at specific points on the body with the center of the goniometer aligned at the joint of interest. Hash marks on the hinge allow the therapist to precisely measure ROM in degrees.

Though you can easily purchase one yourself, a goniometer is meant for properly trained health professionals who know how to use it for best results. For example, a therapist may use the tool to obtain a baseline range of motion measurement of a specific joint after an injury. After an intervention, they may measure again to ensure that the treatment is effective.


The term goniometry is derived from two Greek words, gonia, meaning "angle" and metron, meaning "measurement". A goniometer is an instrument that measures the available range of motion at a joint. Goniometry is the art and science of measuring the joint ranges in each plane of the joint.

If a patient or client suffers from a decreased range of motion in a particular joint, at the initial evaluation, the therapist can use a goniometer to evaluate what the range of motion is, and then ensure that the intervention works in subsequent sessions by using the goniometer.

There are different types of goniometers; the most used is the standard universal goniometer, which is either made from plastic or metal tools. It consists of a stationary arm, a moving arm, and a fulcrum. The telescopic-armed goniometer, Gravity Dependent Goniometer, fluid goniometer, pendulum, electronic goniometer, and some AI-based Application smartphones are other types of goniometer used for joint range of motion measurement.

Today, so many Artificial Intelligence work together in the application that helps to measure ROM without Goniometer, but as it evolves, errors are a major problem with AI Goniometry.

Techniques for using a goniometer

1. Patients Consent is taken first, then patients clothes are removed where the joint measurement to be taken.

2. position the patient in a relaxed manner and the joint to be measured should be free from any obstructions like a pillow, couch, etc.

3.Measuring joint has to be in a 0-degree position. and the total procedure should be explained to the patient.

4. Goniometry requires the use of a single notation system. The most widely used method is the neutral zero methods (0 to the 180-degree system).

5. to avoid errors in Goniometery, To lower the chances of instrumental error, the same goniometer should always be used.

6. Therapist Has to stand near to the joint, which has to be measured.

7. Axis or fulcrum of the goniometer is placed over the axis of the joint to be measured.

8. stable arm is fixed with the Proximal Segment of the joint.

9. Movable arm is fixed with the distal segment of the joint.

1. Therapist has to Move the distal segment of the joint with the movable arm of the goniometer to measure the Joint range.

Procedures To Measure ROM for Major Joints

  • Ankle (Subtalar) eversion.
  • Ankle (Subtalar) inversion.
  • Ankle (Talocrural) dorsiflexion.
  • Ankle (Talocrural) plantarflexion.
  • Elbow extension.
  • Elbow flexion.
  • Forearm pronation.
  • Forearm supination.
  • Hip abduction.
  • Hip adduction.
  • Hip extension.
  • Hip flexion.
  • Hip external rotation.
  • Hip internal rotation.
  • Knee extension.
  • Knee flexion.
  • Shoulder abduction.
  • Shoulder flexion.
  • Shoulder horizontal abduction.
  • Shoulder internal and external rotation.
  • Wrist extension.
  • Wrist flexion.
  • Wrist radial deviation.
  • Wrist ulnar deviation.

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