Range of motion is the degree of movement a joint has when it is extended, flexed, and rotated through all of its possible movements. A joint becomes stressed or overextended if it is moved past its natural range.
A person may increase a joint's range of motion through regular, gentle stretching exercises as directed by a health professional. Often these exercises are recommended after an injury or surgery to help prevent joint stiffness.
Last Revised: February 16, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
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