What is the Different Range of Motion Exercises in Physical Therapy?

In physical therapy, there is numerous range of motion exercises. The range of motion is a phrase that is used to describe the physical therapists providing the complete movement of joints and the parts of a body. When the motion is affected, it will not be possible to move the particular part of the body and it doesn’t return to the comfort with which it was working before.

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What can you expect from range of motion (ROM) exercises?

Motions can be affected by several different causes. Sprained joints and pulled muscles often result from accidents and sports injuries. Lack of general exercise results in the deduction of motion capability. Range of Motion (ROM) affects the particular area of the body that can undo the damage and restore the previous motion of the body part.

There are basically three kinds of “Range of Motion ” that can correct and restore the motion of the body part. These exercises are made, or designed in a way to address the type of injury that a person may have. Range of motion is a mixture of different types of exercises that can be break-down into small parts which work slowly and gradually on the movement of the body part.

Types of Range of Motion (ROM) exercises

  1. Passive range of motion exercises

 – such types of exercises work on the joints that have become inactive due to injury or paralysis. With such injuries, patients become unable to perform their daily routines without having any kind of movement by themselves.

  • Through these types of exercises, the therapists move the limb and body part around the stiff joint.
  • Therapists gently stretch the muscle and let the patient make a habit of moving the body part in a particular motion.
  • In certain cases, exercises are often combined with a passive range of motion that helps to have immediate recovery.
  • The therapists stretch the soft tissues of the body part, relax the surrounding muscles and relieve tension.
  • Passive range of motion helps to remove the stiffness from the injured body part and leads to attaining the movement by working on the rigidity of joints.
  1. Active range of motion exercises 

– Exercises under the category of active range of motion involve very little assistance from the side of the therapist. The patient is entirely capable of doing such types of motion. The involvement of a therapist in such a movement is to improve the posture and movement of the injured body part. Such types of motion are useful in small injuries where the movement is painful, hindering, and uncomfortable. It is not restricted to body movement.

  1. Active-assistive range of motion exercises 

– As the name suggests, these exercises involve the partial involvement of the therapist. In this case, the patient does most of the movement but with the support of the therapist. In most cases, the movements often become restricted due to falls, bruises, accidents, and some other injuries. In such a situation, the therapist may use a strap or band that supports the joint before getting involved in the movement. Initially, you may feel severe pain and weakness in the body part while performing the exercise. However, with time, you may progress gradually that may infer long-lasting improvement around the affected area.

What is the purpose of the Range of Motion (ROM) exercise?

  • Many times, we come across problems that are related to joints, swelling of tissues, stiffness of muscles, or even pain. This may lead to a limited range of motion.
  • The movement of joints declines with the age causing limited movements. But, the same condition may persist due to several conditions.
  • The conditions that may result in such symptoms of limited movements may include arthritis, joint dislocation, immobilization, and surgery.
  • The purpose of a range of motion is to increase sensory stimulations. These types of exercises are prescribed for specific joints where the body part becomes limited in terms of its movement.
  • This may require the assessment of the physiotherapist. Furthermore, these exercises can be done with the consistent flow of gravity, can also be done within the state of water, by any kind of external machine, or with the assistance of the therapist.
  • After recovering from the major issue of the injured body part, the patients can be prescribed ROM exercises to increase the movement of joints without causing any kind of stress on the injured body part.

“Range of Motion” is helpful in determining the cause and severity of the injury. Range of motion exercises helps to understand whether or not the patient will be able to stand on his/her joints at full capability as earlier. In certain cases, the therapist may also use devices like an inclinometer which may support the injured part of the patient while doing exercises.

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At Sunshine Hospital, the patients are provided with a complete range of motion where they can have the use of supportive devices for their regular routine of exercises. Sunshine Hospital is committed to providing quality, security, and continuous improvement in delivering complete care to patients.

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