Range of Motion
What is Range of Motion?
Range of motion is the fullest possible movement that can occur between any two bones at
their connecting joint.
Why do Range of Motion Exercises?
The joint structure and the flexibility of soft tissue that surrounds the joint can affect the
amount of motion that occurs during joint movement. To maintain normal range of motion,
joints should be moved through their available ranges periodically. Inactivity or immobilization,
for any reason, can lead to adhesion and contracture formation, sluggish circulation,
prolonged recovery time, and decreased range of motion.
*All range of motion exercises should be done when there is no inflammation present and
within the pain-free limits of the joint. Increased pain and increased inflammation are signs
that you've over done it. (1)
1. Kisner, Carolyn, and Lynn Allen Colby. Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques.
Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company, 2002.
For a list of normal ranges of motion for different joints of the body, click here.