Lateral Reach

Description & Directions

"Reach out to the side as far as you can; try to keep your hand at the height of your shoulder. Be sure to get all your weight off the opposite side of your bottom and keep your feet on the floor."

Patient should reach with the least involved, stronger, or dominant side.

Patient must off-weight the opposite buttock, but need not lift it off the surface. The therapist may need to check that weight has been shifted off the opposite buttock.

Lateral Reach Scoring

 Score  Description  Selected Example
 4 Independent Performance normal.
 3 Verbal cues/increased time Slow movement or cues required to get patient to move until their buttock clears the surface, even on multiple attempts
 2 Upper extremity support Must stabilize balance by using hand(s).
 1 Needs assistance Requires mod A to achieve task or to return to starting position.
 0 Dependent Cannot complete without total assistance, or cannot be completed if therapist cannot lift buttock.

Common questions about Lateral Reach

  • Can I give the patient more than one opportunity to perform the task? In general, yes. Oftentimes the patient needs cues to sequence the task, so a second attempt with you providing cues is acceptable; just be sure that performance is reflected in the score.  It is not recommended to give the patient more than 2-3 attempts so as to not introduce training effects.

Video examples

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Continue to Pick Object off Floor

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