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• Un natural movements seen in the patient

when muscles are paralysed or inhibited.
• A movement that an active and
highly motivated person performs
to compensate limitation of
musculoskeletal system.
• Trick movements are the substitute
movements used by an individual to
carry out desired movements when the
prime movers are weak, fatigue,
paralyzed or painful.
• For example- the hitching of the shoulder by
the trepezius muscle occur when
supraspinatus muscle is inflamed or the
deltoid is paralysed.
Compensatory movements
• Movement used habitually to achieve functional
motor skills when a normal movement pattern
has not been established or is
unavailable (e.g., lateral trunk flexion and
exaggerated weight shift to substitute for
incomplete shoulder flexion while reaching
aboveshoulder level or external rotation of the
shoulder that extends the elbow if the triceps
muscle is insufficient).

• Trick movements occur where

prime movers are weak or
paralysed and other muscles
take over their function.
• So person can do his work and
disability is minimized.
• Trick movements may affect the normal
function of prime movers when it
• Can produced abnormal joint
• Excessive strain on muscle and ligament
can occur.
• There are two types of trick
• 1. Direct trick movements.
• 2. Indirect trick movements.
1. Direct trick movements.

• 1. By Alternate Prime Movers

• 2. By Fixators.
• 3. By Alternating Position Of favorably placed
• 4. By Making Use Of Whole Limb Pattern.
• 1. By Alternate Prime Movers
• Here, the movement occurs due to action of
another prime mover which produces the
same movement in different direction.

• Example- In case of weak supinator muscle,

patient performs the movement with the
help of biceps brachii but there will be
associated elbow flexion
• 2. By Fixators.
• In this fixator muscle moves the origin of
muscle to produce the action of prime mover.
• Example- Patient with weak hip abductor
will use lateral abdominal muscle to lift the
pelvis and thus move his lower limb laterally
to give appearance of hip abduction.
• 3. By Alternating Position Of
favorably placed muscle.
• In this a favorable muscle may contract
and place the joint in an alternate
position, so that other muscle in
alternate position can perform the
desired movement.
• Example- in patient with deltoid paralysis full
abduction and elevation is possible by
infraspinatus-(lateral rotators) which rotate
the humerus laterally so that axis of shoulder
joint moves out laterally and clavicular head
of pectoralis major act as an abductor
reinforced by long head of biceps and triceps
which also cross the joint.
• 4. By Making Use Of Whole Limb
• Here another muscles of limb contract
to assist the weak muscle to perform the
– Example- in patient with weak elbow
flexors, whole upper limb muscles contract
and thus assist in elbow flexion.
• 1. By Tendon Action.
• 2. By Rebound Phenomenon.
• 3. By Assistance of Gravity.
• 1. By Tendon Action.
• In this antagonist of weak muscle contract to
produce an opposite movement, there is shortening
of the tendon which gives a stretch to weak muscles
and produce movement with stretch reflex. This is
due to the passive action of prime movers. It occurs
in muscles which cross two joints and have normally
a limited length.
• Example- Patient with paralysis of long flexors of
the fingers wrist hyper extension cause a
tendon action at distal interphangeal joints.
– 2. By Rebound Phenomenon.
• When resistance is given to antagonist muscle
contraction and if the resistance is suddenly
removed or strong contraction of antagonist
followed by gentle relaxation produces a sustained
movement and a seeming contraction in agonist.
• Example- If elbow extensors are weak, then
resistance is given to elbow flexion movement and
when this resistance is removed suddenly, the limb
will move to and fro producing elbow flexion and
–3. By Assistance of Gravity.
• In this patient alters the position of
body, make use of gravity and assist
weak muscles.
• Example- Patient with triceps paralysis
where elbow easily be extended by the
help of gravity if shoulder is below 90°
• http://www.oregonexercisetherapy.com/blog/
• https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/media/us