Motor activity is the movement of the body by the help of muscles. Muscles play a vital role in the accomplishment of the motor activity assisted by joints.
Types of motor skills
There are two types of motor skills. Gross motor skills and fine motor skills or movements.
In gross motor movements, muscles are responsible for bringing about the gross movements of the body, for example, walking, running, throwing, etc. In fine motor movements, very fine movements of hands and feet and their fingers and toes take place. Examples of fine motor movements are holding a pen and writing, embroidery, blinking of an eye, playing piano, cutting with a knife and painting.
Stages of motor skill learning
The human brain is very much capable of learning new skills. Human beings are blessed with the most advanced mind and body and ability to coordinate both at the best of their levels. That is the reason, human beings are able to learn any skill quicker than other animals of even higher brain function. Humans learn any skill starting with a cognitive phase which reaches the autonomous phase by passing through the associative phase.
In the cognitive phase, which is the initial phase of learning, observation and thought process takes place. It can be conscious or subconscious but it happens anyways. The human brain processes different ways to do a certain task in a cognitive phase of motor learning.
The associative phase is known for the decision making which means brain now knows which of the pathways more efficient way to do that task is. Now, the mind knows what has to be done. By the time, this phase is reached the motor activity has already come to a very improved and better level.
In the autonomous phase, motor skill is learned well and there is no need of conscious thought process.
Motor activity log for upper extremities
Upper limb or arm is as efficient in exhibiting motor skills as the lower limb. Fine motor movements of the upper limb are especially more developed than the lower extremity. A log is used for the motor activity of the upper limb in which the patient is assessed if he can perform all or most of the activities of the upper limb. It is specially maintained if surgery of upper extremity, breast or axilla is done.
- The upper extremity motor activity log begins with the identity of the patient and is never missed because this is a serious mistake. Patient’s name, age and type of surgery performed is important to mention. Name of the surgeon is also mentioned.
- Some major gross and fine motor functions are assessed and comments are written by the physiotherapist or examining doctor.
- The main focus is on the fine motor skills of the patient. For example, he is asked to button his shirt, turn on or switch off the lights, open a drawer, put on shoes, brush his teeth, wash his hands, write his name on a piece of paper and use a fork.
- His motor skills are graded and the doctor writes his comments in the end.