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Measuring movement and gait 

Measuring movement and gait
Measuring movement and gait
Oxford Textbook of Rheumatology (4 ed.)

Lindsey Hooper

, Mark Taylor

, and Christopher Edwards


Measuring movement and gait is an important part of assessing the effect of rheumatological disorders on a patient’s ability to perform tasks of daily living and to record changes of function associated with treatment. Movement requires a coordinated set of actions, the study of which is termed biomechanics. The way in which joints and related soft tissues function together affects how movement is achieved. Impaired movement can therefore be an important indication of joint or tissue pathology, or can itself lead to pathology. This chapter presents the principles of movement assessment and discusses how these can be applied within rheumatology. A number of assessment methods for the lower limb and gait are discussed, ranging from the clinical evaluation of movement to digital three-dimensional motion analysis. An accompanying reference guide of normal ranges of motion for the lower limb is presented. The relevance and interpretation of biomechanical findings within a rheumatological context is discussed, with osteoarthritis of the knee considered as a clinical example throughout.

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