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What are passive range of motion (ROM) exercises for shoulders and elbows?

Perform the following exercises slowly and gently while person is sitting in a chair or lying down. Repeat each exercise on each side of the body or as needed. Each exercise can be performed 5 to 10 times.

Elbow flexion and extension: Support the individual’s elbow or upper arm with one hand and hold their wrist or forearm with the other hand. Slowly bend at the elbow and have the hand touch the elbow if possible. Next, return the arm to starting position by straightening it out.

Shoulder flexion and extension: Support the individual’s elbow with one hand and their wrist with the other hand. Have their palm facing their body and focus on keeping their arm straight. Next, move the individual’s arm back past their head while keeping the arm by their side.

The following exercise can be performed by an individual themselves while lying down, if ability permits.

Horizontal shoulder abduction: Raise your arms and place your hands behind your head. Slowly press your elbows behind your so that you touch the bed or floor and hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Relax and repeat.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.