If you have gotten up from a chair to a popping sound from your knee and pain in your back, you aren’t alone. One in four Americans has arthritis, with half of those individuals reporting severe joint pain. So, if you have joint pain, what are your options?
Joint pain is often caused by injury or age and might need surgery to correct. Physical therapy can be a beneficial way to manage your joint pain and recover from joint surgery.
A physical therapist may have you do range of motion exercises as part of your therapy. Range of motion exercises can help improve your mobility and ease your pain. Read on to learn more about range of motion and how range of motion exercises work.
What Is Range of Motion?
Range of motion is the mobility of your joints and how far they can move. It is influenced by the muscle and ligaments surrounding your joints. Your range of motion plays a vital role in your daily tasks, so it’s essential to maintain it.
The two common reasons for you to experience a decline in your range of motion are age and injury. As we get older, wear and tear on our joints cause a decrease in movement. Injuries can damage joints and their surrounding tissue, so they don’t work like they are supposed to.
When Range of Motion Exercises are Recommended
Range of motion exercises can help you reduce pain and stiffness, maintain your balance, and improve strength and flexibility.
Accident injury victims often have hidden injuries to joints and muscles that cause pain. If you have been in an accident, you should get checked by a doctor to determine if you have any injuries. Untreated injuries can cause you more pain down the road.
Range of motion exercises are often part of post-surgery rehab as part of the healing process. Your body needs time to heal, and these exercises can help return your flexibility and strength after surgery.
Before starting any treatment for joint pain, it is best to consult with a doctor or physical therapist. A physical therapist can give you the proper range of motion exercises for your pain.
Passive vs Active Range of Motion Exercises
In a passive range of motion exercise, someone else, like your physical therapist, moves your body through the exercise. In an active range of motion exercise, the patient does the exercise unassisted. There is also a third type of range of motion exercise called active assist, where a therapist provides support as the patient works through the exercise.
Range of Motion Is Joint Specific
Each joint will need different exercises and resistance to improve your range of motion. A physical therapist will show you specific ones to help alleviate your pain. For example, if you are having knee pain, your therapist might have you lie down, straighten your legs, and bend your knee toward your chest to stretch and move the joint.
Treat Your Joint Pain with Range of Motion Exercises
Range of motion exercises are incredibly beneficial since they help reduce joint pain from aging and help you recover from injury. There are multiple ways to improve your range of motion but having the right exercise for the joint with pain is essential to get these benefits. Sticking to the exercises your physical therapist can improve your quality of life.
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