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What are Range of Movement Exercises?

Range of movement exercises are exercises that are given for a specific joint where there is a decreased amount of movement. These exercises can be assisted by gravity, assisted by yourself (e.g. the movement is performed to the achievable range, and then additional pressure is applied by another part of the body such as your hands to achieve a greater range), assisted by another person, done within water and assisted by an external machine.

The physiotherapists at Physio.co.uk are qualified to assess, diagnose and prescribe range of movement exercises to those who have range of movement deficits.

What are the benefits of Range of Movement Exercises?

There are many benefits of seeing a physiotherapists if movement is reduced at a joint. Range of movement exercises can:
  • Increase movement at a joint
  • Increase the function of a joint and the whole limb
  • Improve movement efficiency
  • Increase independence
  • Decrease pain
  • Improve and maintain joint integrity
These benefits can have a positive effect on your life if you are suffering from decreased range of movement at a joint. The physiotherapists at Physio.co.uk will work with you to provide an appropriate range of movement exercise programme.

What does Range of Movement Exercise programmes include?

Range of movement exercises will be prescribed upon the outcome of a physiotherapy assessment. This assessment will look at the range and the quality of the movement. Quite often strengthening exercises are prescribed alongside or shortly after range of movement exercises as the increased movement at a joint without increasing the strength could cause a further injury. Range of movement exercise programmes will include:
  • Passive range of movement exercises - where another person or another body part completes the full movement without muscle activation
  • Auto-assisted range of movement exercises – where the muscles complete the movement within the available range and then additional pressure is applied to achieve a few extra degrees.
  • Gravity assisted range of movement exercises – where the movement is done by muscle activation in a position where gravity can assist pull the weight of the limb to the end of the joint’s available range.
  • Range of movement exercises within water – this can be advise by the physiotherapist as warm water can help to relax the tissues and increase the extensibility of the tissues increasing the achievable range.
The range of movement exercises will be prescribed upon the outcome of the initial assessment and review of the outcome measure. Strengthening exercises may also accompany range of movement exercises.

Who would benefit from Range of Movement Exercises?

Many people would benefit from range of movement exercises. You may suffer from reduced range of movement at a joint for many reasons. People with following conditions and injuries would benefit from a physiotherapy assessment and range of movement exercises:
  • Arthritic joints
  • Resolving ligament sprain- as the tissues will heal and become tight
  • Resolving muscle strain – as the tissues will heal and become tight
  • Foreign object within the joint
  • Post joint surgery
  • Acute injury where swelling is present
  • Post joint replacement
  • Pre-surgery e.g. prior to joint surgery as post surgery will decrease range of movement, therefore the more movement which is available prior to surgery will increase the movement that will be available post surgery
If you feel you have decreased range of movement at a joint please contact us or call 0330 088 7800 to speak with one of our qualified experienced physiotherapists for an expert opinion.


Decreased range of movement at a joint can cause you many problems, ranging from the functional ability of the limb to psychological fears and barriers due to increased pain and decreased function in the past. Physiotherapist can prescribe range of movement exercises which will assist improve the function of the joint and help to alleviate any psychological barriers. This can also help to improve your confidence.

Please call physio.co.uk today 0330 088 7800 to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced qualified physiotherapists today. You can also make appointments online here.

Call us on: 0330 088 7800
Phone: 0330 088 7800
Call us on: 0330 088 7800
Mobile: 0330 088 7800
Email us on: office@physio.co.uk
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