Range of Motion Testing

Range of motion is the measurement of movement around a specific joint or body part. In order for a joint to have full range of motion, it must have good flexibility. Flexibility is the range of motion around a joint, and can refer to ligaments, tendons, muscles, bones, and joints.

Good flexibility and range of motion are important for general health, injury prevention and sports performance. A decreased range of motion can be caused by joint problems such as arthritis, injury, fitness and activity level, gender, age and genetics.

A physical therapist can test your range of motion. This may begin with a simple physical exam, but can also include the use of a goniometer – an instrument that tests the angle of joints such as your elbow or knee. It measures the degree of movement at a joint with various flexing exercises.

Another instrument that is often used to test range of motion is an inclinometer. This device measures the slope of your joints, which is helpful in determining your body’s stability in different areas as you perform various movements.

Range of motion testing is important in determining the cause and severity of issues you may be having with joint movement. Proper diagnosis is key to effective treatment.