Physical Therapist
How Physical Therapy Can Help You Increase Your Range of Motion

How Physical Therapy Can Help You Increase Your Range of Motion

Being a physical therapist is about dealing with unfit people and working hard with them to make them fit for the challenges of daily life. A physical therapist does therapy to increase people’s strength, endurance, and range of motion. Here, you will learn about the different exercises a physical therapist uses to increase a person’s range of motion. But before that, we will begin with a brief overview of what physical therapy is. We will also discuss what causes range of motion to decrease and how a physical therapist can help his or her patient.

What is Range of Motion?

Physical therapy is done when a person’s mobility has become restricted or difficult. Helping a patient reach the best possible physical fitness level is the aim of physical therapy. Physical therapists choose from different options of therapy, depending upon the condition of the patient. They can chooseexercise or manual therapy and they can make use of other methods which include education, heat andcold, or even electrical stimulation. At the end of the day, the purpose of all these methods is to make a person’s body work better and to improve his or her body’s function towards a better fitness level.

What Causes Range of Motion to Decrease?

Range of motion is also called ROM. It is the total distance or movement a person can make in all possible directions around a joint or body part. A person with a better fitness level and a flexible body would have better ROM, and vice versa. A goniometer is a device that scientists have made for measuring range of motion. Range of motion can be divided into three types. These types are:

  • Passive Range of Motion (PROM)
  • Active Assistive Range of Motion (AAROM)
  • andActive Range of Motion (AROM).

What Causes Range of Motion to Decrease?

How-Physical-Therapy-Can-Help-You-Increase-Your-Range-of-Motion There are various factors that cause ROM level to drop. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Infection
  • Arthritis and other similar diseases
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Body mechanics problems
  • Muscle spasms

How Can Physical Therapists Help Increase ROM?

  • PROM: When a person is facing a passive range of motion problem, the physical therapist makes the person do certain physical exercises for stretching. This exercise normally does not require effort from the person him- or herself. Instead, the physical therapist uses equipment for stretching to help improve range of motion of the person. These stretching exercises can vary, depending on the condition and its severity.
  • AAROM: Here, therapists can again choose between physical activity and equipment, but again, complete stretching exercises must be done in order for the patient to see improvement in his or her range of motion. The exercises in this category involve the use of muscles around the joint that is weak which strengthens the muscles to increase joint function.

AROM: In these cases, the patient must complete the stretching on his or her own. Without any aid from equipment or physical therapists, the person has to make the muscles around the weak joint move, as instructed by his or her therapist.

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