Range of motion exercise refers to activity aimed at improving movement of a specific joint. This motion is influenced by several structures: configuration of bone surfaces within the joint, joint capsule, ligaments, tendons, and muscles acting on the joint.
There are three types of range of motion exercises:
Passive Range of Motion: Movement applied to a joint solely by another person or persons or a passive motion machine. When passive range of motion is applied, the joint of an individual receiving exercise is completely relaxed while the outside force moves the body part, such as a leg or arm, throughout the available range.
Active Assisted Range of Motion: Joint receives partial assistance from an outside force. This range of motion may result from the majority of motion applied by an exerciser or by the person or persons assisting the individual. It also may be a half-and-half effort on the joint from each source.
Active Range of Motion: Movement: of a joint provided entirely by the individual performing the exercise. In this case, there is no outside force aiding in the movement.