Limited Range of Motion

Limited or reduced range of motion is a limitation of movement at a joint. It is a term meaning that a joint or body part cannot move through its normal range of motion. The movement may become stiff or painful because of a problem within the joint, swelling of tissue around the joint. Pain or stiffness may restrict the normal fluency of the joint’s range.


A sudden loss of range of motion may be due to:

  • Fracture of an elbow or other joint
  • Dislocation of a joint
  • Infected joint
  • Tearing of certain structures within the joint
  • Nursemaid elbow

Loss of motion may occur if you damage the bones within a joint. This may happen if you have:

  • Frozen shoulder
  • Broken a joint bone in the past
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis (chronic form of arthritis)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Brain, nerve, or muscle disorders can damage the nerves, tendons, & muscles  can cause loss of motion. Some of these disorders include:

  • Cerebral palsy 
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Congenital torticollis
  • Volkmann contracture 
  • Stroke or brain injury

Physical therapy at SOS PHYSIO Rehab

Physical therapists diagnose what is causing the limited range of movement. At SOS PHYSIO Rehab, our physical therapists treat the cause for reduced range of movements at a joint with a variety of causes. They can help-

  • Increase range of movement as appropriate
  • Improve mobility (if a lower limb joint)
  • Strengthen the surrounding muscles
  • Decrease pain
  • Improve quality of life
  • Offer self-management strategies

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