Importance of Regaining Range of Motion

ROM knee

Maintaining good range of motion can have a wealth of benefits in the weeks and months following an injury or surgery.

It can also create a positive long-term effect if you are suffering from arthritis  associated with painful rigid joints.

Increasing your motion after a surgical procedure is one of the most important steps in achieving complete rehabilitation; although your long-term successes will depend on how much work you are willing to put in during the recovery period.

Here are several facts on the benefits of increased range of motion and how physical therapy can be beneficial for patients with conditions that result in loss of joint motion.

1. Benefits of Stretching

ROM

Although stretching does not necessarily directly prevent injury, it does increase the blood flow and supplies nutrients to muscles and cartilage. As you age, your muscles gradually become shorter and tighter, reducing your overall flexibility. This restriction makes you more susceptible to muslce, tendon, and joint injuries.

Stretching is primarily responsible for an increase in flexiblity, thus reducing the risks of injuring yourself. Stretching has been shown to effectively increase range of motion in joints. Better range of motion enables you to keep better balance. Like all types of exercise, flexibility exercises have powerful stress busting abilities. Stress causes your muscles to contract, thus becoming tense. Millions of people struggle with chronic lower back pain; increased range of motion of  the spine is an excellent way to alleviate back soreness and pain.

2. Physical Therapy Techniques

PROM ShoulderThe most effective technique a physical therapist uses is passive range of motion. This procedure is when the physcial therapist performs the stretching on a joint to regain motion. It is utilized when the joint is painful and inflamed following an injury or surgery.

For example, a common condition requiring passive stretching is frozen shoulder. The first step taken by the physical therapist is to use mild heat, electrical  stimulation or ultrasound on the shoulder. This decreases  sensitivity, decreases the pain and relaxes the joint so the patient will greatly benefit from passive range of motion. It is highly recommended to ice the shoulder joint following this to reduce the discomfort associated with passive range of motion.

3. Don’t Overdo

It will take your body time to restore itself to its former glory after a recent surgical procedure or injury. Although regular exercise and stretching can help, it’s best not to overdo. Always stretch mildly before carrying out any exercise, and stop immediately if you feel any pain. Once your body becomes stronger, you will be able to carry out more complex exercises. Always practice the correct form when carrying out any exercise, making sure that you target the specific muscle properly in order to achieve a good range of motion. A physical therapist or fitness instructor will be able to provide you with more information on how to exercise properly.

4. Take an Exercise Class

classTaking a pilates or yoga class can be a great way to increase your range of motion. Both exercises can have a number of positive effects on the body and mind.

As well as a greater range of motion, other health benefits of pilates or yoga include reduced blood pressure, an increase in lean muscle mass, decrease in body fat, and a greater sense of well being.

My best advise to any patient experiencing loss of motion in a joint from injury, surgery or arthritis is to seek professional help with a physical therapist or SPORTS REHAB COACH!!