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Brett Sears

Measure Your Functional Reach

By December 30, 2012

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Outcomes measures are an important part of the physical therapy process. They help to quantify things that may be difficult to measure, like your balance or mobility status. They make it easy to track progress and improvement in rehab, and they can also serve to help motivate you by allowing you to "keep score" of your progress.

One simple outcomes measure that you can perform is the Functional Reach Test. This simple test measures your balance while reaching. Be sure that you speak with your doctor before performing the test since it challenges your balance and may make you unsteady.

To perform the test, simply stand perpendicular to a wall with your shoulder about 6 inches away from it. Slowly reach forward as far as you can and make a fist. The distance between your shoulder joint and the end of your fist is your functional reach.

Measuring your functional reach is an easy thing to do, and your score should improve as your balance and mobility improve.

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