ROM exercises, or range of motion exercises, are designed to assist you in recovering or increasing a full range of motion in bending joints such as shoulders, knees, and elbows. For those who suffer a joint injury, undergo surgery, or experience pain in relation to movement, ROM exercises can help to decrease pain, strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint, and enable you to work out or do daily tasks with minimal discomfort.
Different types of range of motion exercises will be more effective for different patients. With the goal of developing full and normal function of your joints, your doctor may recommend that you utilize active ROM exercises, active-assisted ROM exercises, or passive ROM exercises. Patients living with arthritis, sports-related injuries, or healing after joint surgery will likely begin the healing process with passive ROM exercises when he cannot perform the exercise alone, then move to active assisted ROM exercises that include the assistance of a therapist or trainer, and finally to active ROM exercises as he gains strength and can perform the exercises alone.
Depending upon the severity of your arthritis symptoms, passive, active-assisted, or active ROM exercises will be more appropriate as you begin the healing process. Range of motion exercises should aid you in improving your health and day-to-day experience without putting undue stress and strain on your joints. The purposes of ROM exercises for those living with arthritis include maintaining bone strength, strengthening the muscles around the joints, increased energy, better and more restful sleep, weight control, and improved mood.
This is a passive ROM exercise that requires a helper. This exercise is appropriate if you are unable to perform the movements on your own. Sit in a chair and have your helper stand beside you. Have your helper lift your arm and bend your elbow to 90 degrees with one hand placed beneath your elbow and the other on your wrist. Have your helper rotate your forearm so that your palm faces away from you. Your helper then needs to rotate your arm so that your palm is facing toward you. Have your helper continue to rotate your forearm for 10 reps each way. Your helper then needs to repeat the exercise on your other arm.
|PF-ROM Exercises||25–100||extremely low||painless|
|Endurance Training||12–50||low to moderate||moderate exertion discomfort|
|Strength Training||6–12||moderate to high||strong exertion discomfort|