4 Powerful Tips to Increase Range of Motion

Your flexibility levels aren’t necessarily the same as others, reducing how far your limbs move around your joints. After an injury or illness, including fractures, dislocations, osteoarthritis, or infections, you may notice further limitations. Though frustrating, it’s possible to increase range of motion. In fact, we’ve found 4 methods to help you reach your joint movement goals.

Depending on the cause of your reduced joint movement, your doctor may recommend physical therapy. Your therapist will tailor the exercises to match your limitations while slowly helping you improve your range of motion. There are quite a few techniques that help, and the therapist will choose the best ones for your specific needs. There may also be other suggestions, such as dietary or lifestyle changes or topical remedies.

Nurse helping elderly woman to increase range of motion with balance exercises on a fit ball

Increase Range of Motion

Improving flexibility isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible if you’re willing to do the work. With proper exercise and dietary habits, the use of topical oils, and eliminating bad habits, you may achieve your goals.

The right exercises

Exercise reduces muscle tension and stiffness, keeping them flexible and allowing them to expand more as you move. To increase range of motion, try walking, biking, swimming, weightlifting, or yoga.

Stretching is important for those with limited flexibility. Stretching increases muscle length, decreasing tension as you move. It may also increase your stretch tolerance so you can withstand more force and expand your range of motion.

Static stretching involves repeatedly holding specific positions, while active dynamic stretching uses full range of motion movements. During pre-contraction stretching, the muscle contracts before each stretch. Your doctor can help you decide which is right for you.

When recovering from an injury, surgery, or medical condition, physical therapy may be a better option. Your therapist will create a customized plan to manage your flexibility limitations and increase your range of motion.

Use oil

Using topical oils is often recommended by chiropractors to improve flexibility of joints. Olive oil, castor oil, and flaxseed oil are all proven to reduce joint inflammation. Flaxseed oil is also anti-osteoporotic, while castor oil reduces pain and swelling. Correcting these issues may help you improve your range of motion.

For the best results, rub the topical oil on your joints each day after showering. It’s also vital to speak to your doctor and test the oil for allergic reactions before trying a new one.

Give up bad habits

Bad habits often contribute to reduced flexibility, so cutting them out is vital for muscle and joint health. For instance, sedentary behavior causes your muscles to tighten, increasing the risk of injury every time you move. Overeating leads to weight gain, which puts more strain on the muscles and joints. Both factors affect range of motion and increase the risk of injury, even for simple movements.

Healthy eating

The right diet contains vitamins and nutrients required to maintain strong bones and joints. Some foods improve blood flow and reduce joint inflammation, while others contain collagen for better flexibility.

The best options include green vegetables, fruits, nuts, seafood, poultry, legumes, dairy, and eggs. Drinking plenty of water lubricates those joints and prevents muscle-weakening dehydration. Avoid items high in sugar or saturated fats and fried foods whenever possible as these contribute to inflammation.

This article is for educational and informational purpose only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. For any questions about your own health condition, speak to a qualified physician or healthcare provider.