What is range of motion and why does it matter?

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Published: April 13, 2023

The phrase range of motion (ROM) defines how much movement is available between two bones or how much movement is possible at a joint. This term refers to a joint’s whole range of motion, from its maximum extension to its maximum flexion. Although the range of motion may appear simple, it is a complex and crucial component of physical health and fitness. Maintaining a healthy ROM is crucial for performing everyday activities, such as reaching, bending, and twisting, and for engaging in sports and exercise. A limited range of motion can result in decreased flexibility and increased risk of injury. To ensure that you exercise correctly, be free to ask DubaiPT Personal Trainers for help. When you exercise with experts, you don’t have to worry about any injuries or any other issues!

A joint’s restricted range of motion can cause a variety of issues

For general physical ability and joint health, it’s essential to maintain a full range of motion at every joint. A joint’s restricted range of motion can cause various issues, such as discomfort, stiffness, and decreased mobility. Moreover, a limited ROM might raise the risk of injury since it restricts how easily and freely the joint can move. To avoid any injuries, you can look at the back pain exercises that are professionally recommended.

A device we use to measure ROM is a goniometer

A goniometer is a device people use to measure angles. The joint is moved through its entire range of motion to measure ROM, and the amount of movement is noted using a goniometer. The goniometer contains two arms, one fixed at the joint and the other moving along with the joint. A scale on the goniometer is used to determine the movement’s intensity. In some instances, imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans may also be utilized to evaluate the range of motion thoroughly.

A woman exercising on the floor
Muscles cannot fully contract and extend when executing workouts with a restricted range of motion.

Also, to assess a patient’s capacity to carry out particular motions associated with their everyday activities or vocation, healthcare providers may use a variety of functional tests. In general, proper ROM assessment is crucial for assessing joint health. Working closely with certified trainers on pilates classes in Dubai is also a great way for your joints to stay healthy!

Range of motion is an important aspect of workouts because it determines the effectiveness and safety of exercises

Muscles cannot fully contract and extend when executing workouts with a restricted ROM, which can result in imbalances, compensation patterns, and reduced gains. For instance, if a person is executing squats with a restricted range of motion, they could not be engaging every muscle in their legs and glutes, resulting in imbalances and a smaller overall increase in strength.

Moreover, a restricted ROM might raise the risk of injury since it puts more strain on other body parts because the joint cannot move as readily or freely as it should. Individuals can maximize muscle activation, avoid imbalances, and lower their risk of injury by focusing on full ROM during training. Some of the best workouts to activate muscles are crossfit workouts that many people do!

A man doing pushups to increase his range of motion
The ROM of joints can be limited or decreased by a number of causes.

Several factors can limit or decrease the range of motion

The number of causes can limit or decrease the ROM of joints. Injury or trauma, such as a fracture, sprain, or dislocation, is one of the most frequent causes since it can result in discomfort, inflammation, and stiffness. Aging might also be a factor since as we become older, our joints get stiffer and less flexible.

Reduced ROM can result from joint inflammation and damage brought on by arthritis and other joint illnesses. Moreover, ROM can be restricted by poor posture, muscle imbalances, and tightness in the muscles or connective tissue, as well as by neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.

Exercises and techniques for improving the range of motion

There are various exercises and techniques that you can use to improve ROM in joints. Also, lower ab workouts that are available are a good choice for you!

  • Stretching: Stretching is one of the most effective methods for improving ROM. It involves holding a stretch in the muscle group associated with the joint for a prolonged period of time. By stretching the muscles and ligaments around the joint, you can help to increase flexibility and reduce stiffness.
  • Strength training: Strength training can also help to improve ROM. Strengthening exercises, such as resistance training or weightlifting, can help to improve ROM by increasing muscle strength and flexibility. This can help to improve stability and increase the joint’s ability to move through a full range of motion.
  • Massage, foam rolling, and other myofascial release techniques can help to release tension and tightness in muscles and connective tissue.
  • Physical Therapy: If you have limited ROM due to an injury or medical condition, physical therapy is something that you should consider. A physical therapist can help you to develop a personalized plan to improve your ROM and reduce pain and stiffness.
woman stretching her arm to improve her range of motion
Many exercises and techniques can improve ROM.

Team up with pros, and improve your ROM

Range of motion (ROM) is a crucial component of physical fitness and health. For general physical ability and joint health, it’s essential to maintain a full range at every joint. Pain, decreased mobility, and an increased risk of injury can result from limited ROM. Conversely, increasing ROM can improve daily life, physical function, and athletic performance.

There are many things that can limit or decrease ROM. To improve it, there are a number of exercises and methods that you can perform. Individuals can lower their risk of injury, retain mobility, and improve their overall physical capability by taking steps to improve their range of motion. People should therefore give ROM a high priority as part of their overall health and exercise routine.

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