End feel on passive movement testing
elastic end feel on passive supination

What is end-feel?

What is end-feel?

The end-feel on passive movement testing can provide some interesting additional diagnostic value.

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On passive testing, we go for the end of the movement and then we slightly provoke at end range in order to test the specific end feel.

There are normal and pathological end feels.

Please don’t use any force, but merely perform a gentle provocation.

Normal end feel

  • Hard : e.g. elbow extension, knee extension

    Hard end feel on passive extension
  • Capsular (elastic) : e.g. rotations at shoulder, elbow

    Elastic end feel on passive supination
  • Extra-articular (tissue approximation) : flexion at elbow, flexion at the hip

    Patholigical end feel

  • Too hard : e.g. osteoarthrosis
  • Too soft : e.g. loose body in the elbow joint, extension has a softer end feel instead of hard
  • Muscle spasm (involuntary or voluntary muscle contraction) : e.g. arthritis
  • Springy block : e.g. meniscus subluxation causing a limitation of knee extension.