What is Range of Motion?

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DEFINITION – What is Range of Motion?

Range of motion, in medical terms, refers to how far you can move a joint, regarding the extension and flexion. Range of motion can be affected by injury or limited by the extent you can move a particular joint. Many sports injuries affect either the wrist, knee, or elbow joints, and as such, make it harder to continue exercising due to a lack of range of motion, unless proper rest or treatment is sought.


BREAKING DOWN – Range of Motion

Sports injuries are by far the most common way to limit range of motion, and can result from overuse of a particular joint, incorrect form during an exercise, or poor conditioning. 


These injuries can range from the mild, like a sprained ankle, to the more severe, such as a torn ACL or MCL. 


Range of motion can be measured and assessed by a physical therapist through the use of a tool called a goniometer. The goniometer is essentially a more advanced ruler or protractor, which will give the physical therapist an accurate reading on your range of motion for individual joints and limbs.


There are three different types of range of motion that the physical therapist can measure. 


The passive range of motion refers to the extent to which your limbs can be moved solely through external force. The active-assistive range of motion refers to how far you can move a limb with your own muscles, combined with the help of the physical therapist. Finally, active range of motion refers to the extent to which you can move your joints and limbs solely through muscle activation. 


The active and passive exercises a patient performs to assess range of motion will help the physical therapist determine the extent of their injury.


At Athlete’s Choice Massage, we have a team of fully licensed massage therapists on hand to assist your recovery. If you are suffering from a low level of range of motion, then our team can help you rehabilitate the joints to a much healthier level. Book your appointment online today.



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