Lower limb motor coordination

Original Editor - Joseph Olamide

Top Contributors - Joseph Olamide and Leana Louw  


Motor coordination, otherwise referred to as dexterity refers to the ability to perform a motor task in an accurate, rapid and controlled manner[1]. The test for motor coordination requires temporal and spatial accuracy[2]. Lower limb motor coordination is essential for the performance of most daily motor activities, such as walking, running, ascending/descending stairs, standing from a chair. The effective performance of these tasks are critical for an independent life[3][2]. It is also important for community activities, its limitation may cause people to become housebound and isolated from the society, especially for those who had suffered stroke[4]. Motor tasks performed within different contexts require between-limb coordination, which is essential for an independent and safe life, especially in elderly individuals[5]. Adequate lower limb motor coordination significantly contributes to functionality of stroke individuals, its loss is the major contributor to disability in this population[6] [7][8]. Thus, therapeutic approaches aimed at restoring lower limb motor coordination are of great interest for rehabilitation professionals who are involved in research and clinical settings[9].

Medical conditions that may exhibit deficits in lower limb motor coordination

Assessment of lower limb motor coordination

Lower limb motor coordination evaluation is very important for a physical therapist practice, as it enables the understanding of the nature and level of impairments of the individual in a standardized way[17] [18]. The information gathered from the assessment tools may help planning the interventions and monitoring the clinical status of the patients before, during, and after physical therapy interventions[19] [20].

The tools used to assess lower limb motor coordination are divided into two; non-specific and specific.

Non-specific tests:

  • Auditory-paced ankle dorsi and plantarflexion task[11]
  • Rapid alternating movement patterns test (RAMP)[15]

Specific tests:



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