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Limited Active Movement

May 9th, 2019

Assessing Active Movement

Active movement is an indicator of the patient's ability to move the joint. It may be limited due to weakness, pain, mechanical stiffness or poor compliance.
  • How to Assess

  • Ask the patient to move the joint themselves. Assess the neutral position and the range of motion, and ask whether range of motion is limited by pain, weakness or stiffness.
  • Causes of Limited Active Movement

  • Reduced range of motion - trauma, arthropathy, soft tissue pathology, compartment syndrome, muscle tightness, prolonged immobilisation
  • Upper motor neuron lesion - stroke, tumour, trauma, hypoxia, demyelination, deposition, inflammation
  • Lower motor neuron lesion - trauma, compression, demyelination, diabetes
  • Neuromuscular disorder
  • Myopathy
  • Poor compliance
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