Monday, December 22, 2014

Why Should I Do Range of Motion?

Use your good hand to make you arm that doesn't move touch each shoulder.

The picture above is a person doing a range of motion (ROM) exercise. Range of motion exercises "help keep a person's joints flexible, even if he cannot move by himself." You want to keep the joints working, because you may need them again.

The following pictures are mainly for caregivers. It is called "passive" Range of Motion when someone else does the exercise. It doesn't matter to the joint who does the moving, but that it is done.

Shoulder Range of Motion, Passive

Knee Range of Motion
(The caregiver may have trouble moving the knee. In this case, put your hand under the knee and pull up. The knee unlocks.)

You would want to do Range of Motion exercises every day if you plan on someday using the limb(s) you are currently not using. Also if you have splints or braces use them as you are told to. They help keep proper position.
When I was in the hospital, there was a middle-aged Hispanic woman. She probably had a stroke. She would wrap her foot around the bottom of her wheel chair. It was probably out of comfort the first times. The many times after were habit.
One day the Physical Therapist came by looking for candidates for a program that leads to walking. That woman was passed by. Her joints weren't working in the right way.