Written by Tara Peris
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Inclinometers are tools used to measure range of motion. They help assure accurate range-of-motion measurements, most often used in physical therapy settings. They are especially helpful for determining how and when a patient's range of motion is returning post-operation or post-injury.

Some things are relatively easy to measure. The curvature of the spine, for example, can be assessed through visual inspection and x-ray studies. Other aspects are much harder to capture. Range of motion is one such feature. It can be difficult to measure without a precise and properly configured inclinometer.

The Importance of Accurate Measurement

In addition, depending on the nature of the injury, one may want to measure range of motion in multiple directions, a task that can be quite difficult without the proper equipment. Modern inclinometers remove much of the hassle from this ordeal by making it easy to determine a reference point from which to initiate measurement. They can be used in a variety of positions, allowing them to capture a range of injuries and impairments.

Quality gravity inclinometers will give you precise results for a patient's flexion and extension (as well as rotation in the neck, shoulder, and elbow). Most dials present easy-to-read results. Most units have a bubble baseline. There are even dual inclinometers for use with the two inclinometer technique--these units are more advanced and more expensive. They can, however, capture movement at two angles, by pressing one button.

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