If you’ve had a massage or participated in a yoga class with me you've experienced passive or active range of motion. I use passive range of motion as one technique to treat the bone layer of the body and instruct active range of motion to warm up, test for muscle imbalance, and relieve tension. Joints crave movement and our whole body benefits.
A joint is where two or more bones meet. Joints become achy, stiff, and inflamed from injury, underuse, overuse, or infection. In a synovial joint, range of motion performed passively or actively stimulates the production of an egg white-like fluid called synovial fluid. It’s primary function is to lubricate to help protect and reduce friction. It also serves as a medium to exchange nutrients and wastes for the cartilage that cushions both ends of the bone. Joints that classify as synovial joints are shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and ankle.
I think joints are incredible, but vulnerable structures. I see many cases where people are suffering an imbalance that causes joint discomfort and pain. Because it’s an intersection where two or more bones connect it involves tendons, ligaments, nerves, fibrous connective tissue, veins, synovial fluid (in synovial joints) and blood vessels, a lot can be disturbed. We rely so much on our joints for movement and movement is key to our health and well-being. Learning how to protect our joints and move them properly can promote their longevity and health - this is imperative for people with hypermobile joints.
Range of motion helps support healthy joints. This is why I perform passive range of motion in massage sessions and instruct active range of motion in yoga classes. Specifically, range of motion help sort structural imbalance, open channels, relieve tension, and increase circulation. Simple range of motion exercises can be a solution to many problems and a preventative practice in staying strong and mobile.