Goniometers are simple, but very important tools that physiatrists, physical therapists and occupational therapists use to measure a patient's range of motion. The device looks similar to a mathematical compass in that it moves from a fulcrum. The measurement is displayed on a disc surrounding the fulcrum. Goniometers are used to check motion capabilities in numerous joints including elbows, shoulders, knees, hips and knuckles. The resulting range of motion measurement helps clinicians diagnose, plan treatment and measure the progress of a patient.
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Visit vendor and recruitment booths at a health care industry convention or trade show. Goniometers are common swag at physiotherapy and occupational therapy conventions.
Request free goniometers from major physiotherapy equipment and supply vendors if you are part of a health care facility or system. Companies who sell and lease modalities and high-end equipment often give samples, gifts and cheap freebies to clients and potential clients. You might get a plastic promotional goniometer or even several if you ask.
Write to a medical supply company asking for donations of goniometers if you represent a worthy cause, such as a school whose budget is limiting equipment purchases or a non-profit clinic in need of supplies. Large suppliers like to keep a good name, and of course, can take tax write-offs on their charitable donations.
Ask a clinician you know if he has an extra goniometer to give. Many times, therapists accumulate plastic goniometers like people do cheap pens. Bumming a goniometer can be as easy as asking the right person.
Download a free goniometer program or utility. Several exist for PDAs, including the iPhone, which can allow you to use the device as a goniometer.
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