Range of Motion

Principles/rationale for passive/active range of motion.
What are passive range of motion exercises?

        Passive range of motion exercises help keep a person’s joints flexible, even if he cannot move by himself. Range of motion is how far the person’s joints can be moved in different directions. The exercises help you move all the person’s joints through their full range of motion.

What are passive range of motion exercises?

        The range of movement through which a client can actively (without assistance) move a joint using the adjacent muscles. To maintain joint mobility is done by putting each of the client’s joints through all possible movements to increase and/or maintain movement in each joint. To prevent contracture, atony (insufficient muscular tone), and atrophy of muscles. To stimulate circulation, preventing thrombus and embolus formation.

Joint Movements
  • Adduction/ abduction;
  • Flexion/ extension;
  • Hyperextension;
  • Internal/external rotation;
  • Supine/pronation.
Guidelines for ROM exercises:

        To maintain function, flexibility, and strength, clients need to use their muscle and joints. PW perform exercises as directed by licensed staff and according each client’s plan. Stop immediately if pain or discomfort occurs. Ask the person to tell you if he or she experiences pain during exercise, and stop ROM exercises whenever pain is indicated. Never exercise a joint that is red or swollen.

  • Position the client in good body alignment for exercising.
  • Explain what you are doing and why.
  • Do only the exercises that you know how to do, as directed in the care plan.
  • Support each limp as you move it gently and smoothly through its normal range.
  • Observe any increase or decrease in mobility.
  • Never force a joint or move it beyond the person comfort point.
  • Exercise one side completely, and then the other side.
  • Generally each exercise is repeated several times, twice a day.
  • Explain procedure to the client.
  • Wash hands.
  • Hold the extremity to be exercised gently but firmly with the flat of hand and fingers.
  • Move the extremity smoothly and firmly as far as it can go, comfortably, in every direction.
  • Repeat as often as stated on the Care Plan.
  • Place the extremity back in its natural position at the end of the exercise.
  • Observe for any difficulty doing the exercise.
  • Record and reports the number of times the exercise was performed and any difficulty with the exercise.
  • Observe, record and reports any changes in condition or behavior.
  • Washed hands.