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Difference Between Flexibility and Range of Motion
Flexibility may refer to bones, muscles and joints.
The term can also refer to other parts of the anatomy. For example, ligaments are said to be flexible. Flexing a ligament too far, however, can result in serious injury. Range of motion, in medical terms, generally refers to how well the joints in the human body move.

Joint Flexibility

To have good range of motion, a joint must be flexible. For example, good range of motion of a ball-and-socket joint such as at the shoulders permits movement in all planes or all directions. A hinged joint, like that of the knee, allows movement in one direction only, or a limited plane. To have good range of motion and good flexibility, the hinged joint should provide full movement within the one normal plane.

Joint Range of Motion

Saddle joints, such as at the base of the thumb between the trapezium and metacarpal bones, facilitate movement in two planes, but do not rotate around the bases of the bones. Range of motion in a saddle joint permits this back-and-forth movement. Thus, this joint with full range of movement will have good flexibility. When an area has more than one type of joint, the full range of motion is the sum of the movements of all joints. For example, the elbow has both a pivot joint and a hinged joint. Both must present good flexibility for the elbow to exhibit full range of motion.

Limited Range of Motion

Things that can reduce flexibility, thus inhibiting range of motion, include infection in a joint that causes swelling, arthritis in the joint or an injury such as a sprain. Extended immobilization of a joint can also lead to limited flexibility as the ligaments contract and stiffen. According to MedlinePlus, the U.S. National Library's medical encyclopedia, stretching a joint can improve flexibility, which in turn reduces the risk of injury by permitting full range of motion in the joint.

Flexibility Examples

In many instances in the human body, cartilage permits flexibility. For example, in osteoarthritis, a gradual decrease in joint flexibility usually results as cartilage deteriorates. The flexibility provided by rib cartilage allows the lungs to expand and deflate in breathing. Furthermore, flexibility is often a measurement of physical fitness when taken in conjunction with muscle coordination, strength and endurance. An example of an athlete with high flexibility would be a professional gymnast. Range of motion exercises, which increase joint flexibility as well as muscle strength and endurance, can have significant benefits, improving the ease with which normal daily activities can be accomplished.

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Federal regulations state that a resident's or client’s abilities in activities of daily living must not diminish while under a facility or agency’s care unless circumstances of the individual's clinical condition demonstrate that deterioration was unavoidable.  Pedagogy’s online Inservice course “Range of Motion Exercises” instructs nursing assistants and home health aides on consequences of limited Range of Motion and how to safely perform Range of Motion exercises. General principles and safety precautions of Range of Motion exercises are explained with detailed instructions, examples and videos for each exercise.

To view more details or to purchase the course CLICK HERE
Inservicing for nursing assistant staff should be more than fulfilling annual inservice requirements. This continuing education is intended to promote growth and personal betterment. It should meet the educational needs of the nursing assistants and have a measurable impact on the quality of patient and client care. That is what you get when you utilize the educational tools of high quality inservice materials developed by a reputable education provider.

The next time that you need inservice materials for your nursing assistants, turn to Pedagogy’s online Inservice and Compliance section of education. Our online Learning Management System of tracking is the most cost effective and time saving method of providing quality inservice and compliance education for your staff. The Learning Management System also allows for a complete education plan to be set, emailed reminders to keep staff on track and in compliance of your education goals. A full history of your staff’s performance is right at your fingertips.

Pedagogy also offers a Membership Plan that provides the entire catalog for your staff to take any inservice or compliance course we offer! Quantity purchases may also qualify for tablets to facilitate staff completion of education. Click here to read more about our membership plans.

Online Inservice and Compliance Course Benefits
  • Our courses provide inservice contact hours
  • Our course incorporate adult learning principles
  • Audio capability—courses may be “read” aloud
  • Courses are packed with pictures, videos and illustrations to increase understanding of concepts
  • Review questions at the end of each chapter to ensure you are grasping the main concepts
  • Tests provide feedback on incorrect questions
  • You are allowed to repeat the test if the minimum 80% is not achieved
  • No travel to complete courses
  • No classroom time
  • No development time to create inservices for staff
  • No shift rescheduling to attend a course
  • Take course as schedule permits
  • Stop and start courses as your schedule permits, pick right up where you left off
  • Instant Certificates of Completion upon successful exam
Current list of Inservice and Compliance Education:

Ambulation and Preventing Falls
Behavior Problems and Workplace Violence
Blood and Body Fluid Spill Management
Bloodborne Pathogens
CPR for the Healthcare Professional
Documenting and Reporting Care and Vital Signs
Feeding Residents and Clients
Handwashing Responsibilities in Healthcare
Hazard Communication
Infectious Diseases
Nutrition Hydration and the Elderly
Positive Fire and Life Safety Practices
Preventing Resident Abuse
Range of Motion Exercises
Resident Rights and HIPAA
Safe Transfers and Lifts
Skin Care
Standard Precautions
Toileting and Elimination
Workplace Harassment
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