Limited range of motion

  • Definition
    • Limited range of motion is a term meaning that a joint or body part cannot move through its normal range of motion.

  • Considerations
    • Motion may be limited because of a problem within the joint, swelling of tissue around the joint, stiffness of the muscles, or pain.

  • Causes
  • Home Care
    • Your health care provider may suggest exercises to increase muscle strength and flexibility.

  • When to Contact a Medical Professional
    • Make an appointment with your health care provider if you have difficulty moving or extending a joint.

  • What to Expect at Your Office Visit
    • The provider will examine you and ask about your medical history and symptoms.

      You may need joint x-rays and spine x-rays. Laboratory tests may be done.

      Physical therapy may be recommended.

  • References
    • Campbell M, Dudek N, Trudel G. Joint contractures. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2014:chap 126.

      Comeau D, Heaton K, Gordon A. Rheumatology and musculoskeletal problems. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 32.