Southtown Veterinary Hospital

1806 Ridge Rd.
Montrose, PA 18801




What is it? Range of motion means moving a joint through its entire range,

from all the way flexed to all the way extended. Measuring range of motion

helps us to tell how much joint mobility is present. We usually measure each

joint with the first rehab evaluation, and then selected joints thereafter as

treatment progresses. We also may recommend joint range of motion

exercises, moving the dog?s joint(s) through that range repeatedly, to

maintain flexibility. The inside of the joint receives a great deal of its

nourishment through motion of the joint fluid. Flexing and extending a joint

helps maintain the nutrition and health of the joint tissues. It also relieves



When is it used? Range of motion should be done after any surgery involving

a joint. Like stretching, it is also a good thing to do before exercising, to

reduce pain and risk of injury. In human rehabilitation, return to full range

of motion is one of the milestones you have to reach before being let out of

the hospital or rehab facility.


Does it hurt? We try to never cause pets pain during rehab. Pain causes

stiffness when we want relaxation. It endangers us, and you, because the pet

will try to protect itself from the pain. It also is counterproductive to

healing. Range of motion is only done to the point of discomfort, not beyond



How do I do it? Lay your pet on its side on a comfortable bed or blanket

with the leg you are treating up. Support the limb you are exercising below

and above the affected joint, at a natural angle. Gently flex the limb as far

as possible and hold it there a few seconds. Then slowly extend the leg all

the way out. Repeat this slow flexion and extension 10-15 times