Original Editor - Antonia Abraham Top Contributors - Anthonia Abraham and Ewa Jaraczewska

Introduction[edit | edit source]

An inclinometer is a device used to measure angles.[1] It is commonly used in physiotherapy to measure the range of motion (ROM) of joints and very similar to a goniometer. The ROM is the amount of movement that a joint can make.

An Inclinometer

How an inclinometer works[edit | edit source]

An inclinometer has a housing that contains a sensor. The sensor is sensitive to gravity and measures the angle of the housing. The angle is then displayed on a digital display or a dial.[2]

Here is an example of how an inclinometer is used on thoracolumber area.


An inclinometer is used to measure the ROM of joints in a variety of ways. [4]One way is to place the inclinometer on the joint and then move the joint through its range of motion. The angle of the inclinometer will change as the joint moves. The maximum angle reached is the ROM of the joint.

Another way to use an inclinometer is to measure the angle between two body parts. For example, a physiotherapist might use an inclinometer to measure the angle between the thigh and the shinbone. This measurement can be used to assess the alignment of the knee joint.

Advantages[edit | edit source]

There are several advantages to using an inclinometer in physiotherapy. One advantage is that it is a relatively inexpensive device. Another advantage is that it is easy to use.[5] The inclinometer can be used by physiotherapists and patients alike.

Disadvantages[edit | edit source]

There are a few disadvantages to using an inclinometer. One disadvantage is that it can be difficult to measure the ROM of small joints. Another disadvantage is that the inclinometer can be affected by vibrations.[6]

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

An inclinometer is a useful device used in physiotherapy to measure the ROM of joints. It is a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use device. However, it can be difficult to measure the ROM of small joints and it can be affected by vibrations.[7]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Baseline Digital Inclinometer - Best Priced Products. (n.d.). BPP2. Retrieved from
  2. Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription, 8E. (2019). Wolters Kluwer.
  3. 45 Thoracic and Lumbar Flexion Inclinometers by abdulaziz al-aslami on youtube
  4. Orthopedic Interventions for the Physical Therapist Assistant. (2018). F. A. Davis Company
  5. Roach S, San Juan JG, Suprak DN, Lyda M. Concurrent validity of digital inclinometer and universal goniometer in assessing passive hip mobility in healthy subjects. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2013 Oct;8(5):680-8. PMID: 24175147; PMCID: PMC3811733.
  6. Dimitriadis Z, Parintas I, Karamitanis G, Abdelmesseh K, Koumantakis GA, Kastrinis A. Reliability and Validity of the Double Inclinometer Method for Assessing Thoracolumbar Joint Position Sense and Range of Movement in Patients with a Recent History of Low Back Pain. Healthcare (Basel). 2022 Dec 29;11(1):105. doi: 10.3390/healthcare11010105. PMID: 36611565; PMCID: PMC9819146.
  7. Hanks J, Myers B. Validity, Reliability, and Efficiency of a Standard Goniometer, Medical Inclinometer, and Builder's Inclinometer. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2023 Aug 1;18(4):989-996. doi: 10.26603/001c.83944. PMID: 37547826; PMCID: PMC10399115.