Range of motion is the degree of movement a joint has when it is extended, flexed, and rotated through all of its possible movements. A joint becomes stressed or overextended if it is moved past its natural range.
A person may increase a joint's range of motion through regular, gentle stretching exercises as directed by a health professional. Often these exercises are recommended after an injury or surgery to help prevent joint stiffness.
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Nancy Greenwald MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation