Limited Range of Motion in Joints

What Causes a Limited Range of Motion in Joints?

What Causes a Limited Range of Motion in Joints?

The range of motion (ROM) of a joint refers to how far and in which direction it can extend. Some folks were able to reach their toes and even palm the ground after physical therapy exercises. Others were unable to touch their ankles. Knowing your ROM might help you, avoid overdoing things and injuring yourself. Continue reading to learn more about the typical ranges of motion for numerous joints throughout the body.

ROM Influencing Factors

Your age and sex are two significant elements that might influence your ROM. The participants undertook various activities in a study and assessed how far each joint could move in joint disorder. They also kept track of how long each workout took them. The researchers discovered a roughly 45 percent difference between the younger and older subjects on foot workouts. The activities assessed the foot’s capacity to spin inward and outward. They claim that even healthy elderly folks might have a narrower range of motion than younger people. It might also take longer for older persons to achieve their complete range of motion for any specific joint. According to the study, the women had about 30% greater range of motion in their hands than the males. Stretching is said to help with joint flexibility and knee pain.

Limited Range of Motion.

When a joint has a limited range of motion, it can’t move as freely as it should. A problem might cause this within the joint or soft tissue injury to the joint. The most prevalent cause of tight joints and reduced range of motion is arthritis. One of the earliest stages of injury recovery is regaining the range of motion in a joint. Static stretching has been demonstrated to enhance joint ROM in people with a limited range of motion. Stretching a muscle as far as possible and keeping the posture for 15 to 20 seconds is what this technique entails. Applying heat during stretching was also found to be beneficial in one research. Compared to those who stretched without heat, those who tried with heat experienced a modest improvement in ROM. 8

What are the drawbacks of having a limited range of motion?

The location of the joint may become permanently set in rare instances. This implies you won’t move the joint to a certain degree. Contracture deformities are what they’re called. This difficulty is linked to the following conditions:
  • cerebral palsy
  • muscular dystrophy 
  • Volkmann’s contracture, a shortage of blood supply to the forearm that causes the arm muscles to shrink.

Causes related to Limited ROM:

Medical problems

  • Ankylosing spondylitis, a kind of arthritis that usually affects the spine, is one of the medical diseases linked to a limited range of motion in the joints.
  • osteoarthritis 
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), is an autoimmune type of arthritis that affects youngsters under 16.
  • Cerebral palsy (CP), is a collection of neurological conditions characterized by muscular paralysis and lack of bodily control.
  • Congenital torticollis is characterized by a stiff neck and muscular spasms.
  • A sexually transmitted illness called syphilis (STI)

Other reasons

  • Discomfort
  • dislocations of joints
  • fractures of the elbows
  • fractures in other parts of the body


Finding out what’s causing your stiffness and limited range of motion is the best method to address it. If the discomfort goes away within 15–20 minutes after beginning, it’s usually not significant. 
  • Exercises of limited ROM:
  1. Active range of motion: 
  2. Active assistive range of motion: 
  3. passive range of motion. 
If you have a restricted range of motion, your workouts will be designed to develop your flexibility over time progressively.
  • Other options:
If this happens again, it might be a symptom of weakening, and you should see a musculoskeletal physician figure out what’s causing the problem before starting any treatment.
  • Even though you are experiencing stiffness and loss of mobility, physical therapy is the most excellent approach to maintain your joints healthily and active; you may practice light exercises to ensure that the joints are kept in motion to prevent further degeneration.
  • Using a cold or hot compress to relieve joint disorder and discomfort. A hot compress improves blood flow and relaxes the muscles, while a cold compress can decrease inflammation and swell in the joints. Exercises to Increase Range of Motion
  • Physical therapists frequently recommend range-of-motion exercises for ankle pain. These workouts take your edema, soreness, and stiffness into account.




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