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Limited Range of Motion: Causes, Diagnosis, and Prevention

If you’re like most people, you take your ability to move for granted. But what if you couldn’t move the way you wanted? What if every movement caused pain? This is the reality for millions worldwide who suffer from a limited range of motion (LROM). This article will explore the causes of LROM, how it’s diagnosed, and what can be done to prevent or treat it.

What is a Limited range of motion?

Limited range of motion (LROM) is the loss of the ability to move a body part through its full range of motion. This can be due to pain, stiffness, injury, or surgery. Range of motion can be measured using a goniometer, a device that indirectly measures the angle of a joint. The usual range of motion varies from person to person and depends on the joints involved. For example, hyperextension of the elbow joint is considered normal, whereas hyperextension of the knee joint is not.

Limited range of motion can lead to muscle weakness and joint stiffness. It can also make it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as reaching for something on a high shelf or tying shoelaces. Treatment for a limited range of motion typically involves physical therapy exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles and joints. Surgery may also be necessary in some cases.


A limited range of motion may be due to an injury or surgery resulting in scar tissue formation. Scar tissue can build up around joints, leading to stiffness and reduced mobility. Additionally, conditions like arthritis can cause inflammation and pain in the joints, resulting in a limited range of motion.

Chronic back pain is another common cause of reduced mobility. In many cases, the root cause of the pain can be challenging to pinpoint, but it often leads to tense muscles and reduced flexibility.

Another cause is sudden tension or trauma on joints, such as during an auto accident. Whiplash is one common condition arising from such an accident and sudden movement in the neck portion. A sudden whiplash can limit your neck’s motion. In such a condition, you can head to a professional chiropractor who can release joint tension to improve the range of motion. The chiropractor can use various techniques and therapies to treat your whiplash problem, including cervical chiropractic adjustments, laser treatment, heat therapy, etc.


Limited range of motion is diagnosed when there is a decrease in the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion. Some possible causes for this condition include joint deformity, muscle weakness, and connective tissue damage. In some cases, such as when the cause is arthritis, there is no cure, and treatment focuses on managing symptoms.

Regardless of the cause, limited range of motion can be a debilitating condition that significantly impacts the quality of life. As such, it is essential to consult with a doctor if you are experiencing any decreased mobility in your joints.


Regardless of the cause, a few things can be done to help improve the range of motion. First, it is important to keep the affected joint mobile. This can be done through gentle stretching exercises or light massage.

Additionally, ice can be used to reduce inflammation and pain. Heat may also be helpful in some cases. Another option is splints or braces to support the joint and prevent further damage. Finally, physical therapy can be an effective way to improve the range of motion and reduce pain.


Bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments affect a joint’s range of motion. When any part of this system is damaged or impaired, it can decrease the range of motion. It can be a temporary condition, such as after an injury or surgery, or it can be permanent. Conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia can also cause a limited range of motion.

There are several ways to prevent or reduce a limited range of motion. Keeping the joints mobile and flexible is vital to maintaining a good range of motion. This can be done through regular stretching and exercise. Following your physical therapist’s instructions for rehabilitative exercises is essential if you’re recovering from an injury or surgery.

Sometimes, splinting or bracing may be necessary to support the joints and prevent further damage. If you have a chronic condition like arthritis, treatments like occupational therapy or acupuncture may help to improve your range of motion. Maintaining good overall health is also crucial for preventing a limited range of motion. Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and managing stress levels can help keep the joints and muscles healthy.

A limited range of motion can be a frustrating and painful condition. However, there are treatments available that can help to improve the range of motion and reduce pain. In some cases, surgery may be necessary. However, many people can improve their range of motion through simple exercises and stretches. Maintaining good overall health is also important for preventing a limited range of motion. Following these tips can improve your quality of life and keep your joints healthy.

Meta Title: Causes, Diagnosis, and Prevention for Limited Range Motion

Meta Description: A limited range of motion can be caused by various reasons and can impact a person’s lifestyle. Here are some causes and their prevention.

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