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Forward Reach

Description & Directions

"Reach forward, keeping your other arm in your lap or at your side. Reach as far as you can while staying balanced."

You may need to perform the motion passively to assess excursion and/or available patient ROM.

Patient must go full ROM or until abdomen contacts anterior thighs.

Have the patient reach with least involved, stronger, or dominant arm. Assign a score.

Forward Reach Scoring

Score Description Selected Example
4 Independent Performance normal.
3 Verbal cues/increased time Moves tentatively or excessively slowly, but can complete task.
2 Upper extremity support Uses hand, even on second attempt with cueing to not use hand, to return to sitting position.
1 Needs assistance Min A required to move through full motion.
0 Dependent Requires total assist to complete motion.

Common questions about Forward Reach

  • What if patient doesn't use their hand(s) and doesn't need assist, but clearly is limited in reach distance? The patient must move through their full available reach motion. If they need cues to do this, or you have to physically assist them to complete their full reach, the score should reflect this.

Video examples

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Continue to Lateral Reach