a characteristic sensation perceived by the examiner when the end of joint range of motion is reached. The six types of joint end feel most often used are bone to bone, soft tissue approximation, spasm end feel, empty end feel, capsular end feel, and springy block.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
In physical therapy and rehabilitation, the feeling experienced by an evaluator when overpressure is applied to tissue at the end of the available passive range of motion. It is interpreted as abnormal when the quality of the feel is different from normal response at that joint. The feeling may be soft as when two muscle groups are compressed or soft tissues are stretched, firm as when a normal joint or ligament is stretched, or hard as when two bones block motion. Abnormal end feels may include a springy sensation when cartilage is torn within a joint, muscle guarding when a muscle involuntarily responds to acute pain, or muscle spasticity when there is increased tone due to an upper motor neuron lesion or when the feeling is different from that normally experienced for the joint being tested.
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