If you are having balance issues or problems with functional mobility, your physical therapist is the ideal individuals to help your condition. But how does your Physical Therapy measure your functional balance, and can the test be accomplished at home?
Most Palmdale Physical Therapist will tell you that the Functional Reach Test is a unique test used as an outcome measure in physical therapy. It is used to assess your balance and functional motion after an injury or illness or when you may have limited mobility.
If you are having a trouble with balance and functional mobility or if you have fallen in the past, you may benefit from physical therapy to help you improve your mobility and safety.
Your local Palmdale Physical Therapist will most likely take a variety of different measurements to assess your mobility or balance impairments. In addition, they may measure your strength, your range of motion, or your need for an assistive device.
There are ana array of outcome measures that your physical therapist may use to aid in gauging your current level of mobility and to assist in keeping track of your improvement as you progress through physical therapy.
Furthermore, a local Palmdale Physical Therapist may also use the Functional Reach Test to measure your balance while reaching for various items.
The Functional Reach Test is a simple test of balance that can be used to identify people who may be at risk for falling while reaching.
How the Functional Reach Test Is Performed
The Functional Reach Test is a simple test to perform at home. Caution must be used when performing the test. If you are having difficulty with balance or with mobility, you may be putting yourself at risk for falling simply by doing the test.
Be sure that you speak with your doctor or physical therapist before starting the test, and make certain that someone is with you who can ensure that you are safe during the test.
- To perform the test, stand with your body perpendicular to a wall.
- Your shoulder should be about six inches from the wall and you should be facing forward.
- Place a small piece of tape on the wall at the level of your shoulder joint.
- From the beginning position, our Palmdale Physical Therapist suggest you reach directly out in front of you as far as possible.
- Your arms should be parallel to the floor. Be sure to remain balanced, and do not move either foot from the starting position.
- You may want to have a friend nearby to assist you if you lose your balance.
When you have reached out in front as far as you can, our Palmdale Physical Therapist suggest you try and make a fist. You might also want to have a friend or family member mark the wall with a piece of tape at the point where your fist is.
Our Palmdale Physical Therapist recommend that you make sure to remain safe while performing the test; no need to fall over while reaching forward.
Once you have marked the wall at the starting position and the ending position, simply measure the distance between the two marks to determine your functional reach.
Typically, a practice run is allowed prior to starting the test, and three tests are done, with the average of the three measurements being the final score.
Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say you can use your score on the Functional Reach Test to measure progress if you are performing balance exercises in physical therapy, and your score may also be used to keep you motivated during physical therapy.
As your score improves, you should notice your balance and functional mobility will get better as well.