Range of motion is defined as the scope of the joint to move to its full capability. An instrument called goniometer is used to measure the angle of each joint, which is expressed in degrees. Normal range of motion is determined to identify if deformity and limited range of motion is present. For instance, the normal range of knee extension is from 120 degrees to 0 degree, while knee flexion is from 0 degree to 130 degrees.
Physical therapy is a medical profession that is primarily for the purpose of restoring and preserving physical and physiological well being of an individual. It uses various therapeutic approaches to bring back, maximize and prevent restriction of mobility and range of motion. Initially, the therapist assesses the musculoskeletal condition of the patient. After assessment and diagnosis, a therapeutic program is formulated according to the needs of the patient.
Several measure and therapeutic treatments are provided for the patient by the physical therapist. However, physical therapists design different treatment program for each patient in accordance to their physical condition, restrictions, and needs of the patient. Therefore, an accurate diagnosis must be confirmed. Diagnosis can be obtained through medical history, thorough physical assessment, and present physical status of the patient.
The most common type of therapy that physical therapists use is exercise. There are two types of exercise that therapists use to improve range of motion, active exercise and passive exercise. An active exercise is a form of exercises where the patient performs the exercises without the assistance or help of the therapist. On the other hand, a passive exercise is a type of exercises where the therapist helps and assists the patient during the exercise.
Other kinds of therapeutic treatments are used by physical therapist to restore and enhance joint mobility without pain. These treatments may include massage therapy, application of hot and cold compress, electrical stimulation, and utilization of other therapeutic equipment. Stretching is a part of an exercise program that is done prior to any exercise or activity. This is to prevent straining the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.
The main goal of each treatment plan is to reestablish, augment, and preserve physical and physiological wellness of a person. Physical therapists are well trained, competent, skilled, and knowledgeable to perform each treatment to the patient. Physicians often refer their patients after surgery or accident to a physical therapist. The physical therapist often collaborates with other health professionals to come up with the best plan of therapy and treatment for the patient.