Range-of-motion is the phrase used to describe how much a joint can move. Normal range-of-motion varies from joint to joint. For example, the shoulder has more mobility than any other joint in the body. Normal shoulder range-of-motion allows people to raise their arm above their head so that their arm is touching their ear. Patients with range-of-motion limitations often cannot raise their arm as high.
The easiest way to look for a loss of range-of-motion is to compare your injured joint to the joint on the opposite side of your body. Your doctor or therapist may also perform more precise tests to determine the exact range-of-motion of a joint.