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The physicians at West Idaho Orthopedic announce their latest Fit & Flexible range of motion exercises to those seeking preventative orthopedic care. Range of motion exercises help maintain muscle strength and joint flexibility, and encourage blood flow to the area being exercised.

The ROM, or range of motion, is a medical term used to describe the amount of flexibility you have in each joint, like the knee, the elbows, the hips and more, explained Dr. Charles Schneider of WIO. Stiff joints get that way from lack of use, so in order to keep your normal range of motion in all your joints, it is important that you move them every day.

Normal daily tasks such as housework, climbing stairs and walking around are not considered ROM exercises, he added.

A good ROM exercise to increase shoulder flexibility is the shoulder shrug, said Schneider, who has practiced orthopedic surgery for over 30 years. Raise the shoulders to the ears, hold for five seconds and then relax. Next, contract the shoulder blades together, hold and relax. Draw the shoulders forward, hold, and relax. Repeat each exercise several times, and then combine them in one smooth motion. Repeat five to 10 rolls in each direction.

Dr. Michael J. Shevlin, who joined WIOs staff in 2010, recommends the hamstring stretch to help increase the range of motion in the hip. To do the hamstring stretch, lie on your back on the floor. Place a towel or pillowcase behind one knee, hold it with both hands and gently lift the leg up toward the chest; do not jerk the leg. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.

The wrist is a problem area for most office workers, said WIO surgeon Dr. Robert G. Hansen, who has been in practice since 1980.

To increase ROM in the wrist joint, Hanson suggests doing wrist extensions and flexions. Extend the fingers and rotate the hand as far to the right as you can, then rotate it as far to the left as you can. Repeat the motion with the fingers curled.

Schneider, Hanson and Shevlin are all certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. They are members of the Idaho Medical Association and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon.


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