Range of motion exercises


What are active range of motion exercises?

Active range of motion exercises help improve joint function. Range of motion is how far you can move your joints in different directions. These exercises help you move each joint through its full range of motion. Movement can help keep your joints flexible, reduce pain, and improve balance and strength.

What do I need to know about active range of motion exercises?

Do the exercises your caregiver teaches you. Practice the exercises with your caregiver before you try them by yourself. Exercise every day, or as often as directed by your caregiver.

  • Do the exercises in the same order every time. Go from head to toe, to help you remember the series of moves. Start with neck stretches. Then exercise other body parts in order, moving toward your feet. Do each group of exercises on one side, and then do the same exercises on the other side.
  • Move slowly, gently, and smoothly. Avoid fast or jerky motions.
  • Stop if you feel pain. It is normal to feel some discomfort at first. Regular exercise will help decrease the discomfort over time.

Neck exercises:

Starting pition: You may sit or stand. Face forward. Your shoulders should be straight and relaxed.

  • Head tilts, forward and back: Gently bow your head and try to touch your chin to your chest. Raise your chin back to the starting position. Tilt your head back as far as possible so you are looking up at the ceiling. Return your head to the starting position.
  • Head tilts, side to side: Tilt your head to the side, bringing your ear toward your shoulder. Return your head to the starting position.
  • Head turns: Turn your head to look over your shoulder. Tilt your chin down and try to touch it to your shoulder. Do not raise your shoulder to your chin. Face forward again.

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