When a joint does not move fully and easily in its normal manner it is considered to have a limited range of motion. Motion may be limited by a mechanical problem within the joint, swelling of tissue around the joint, spasticity of the muscles, pain or disease.
Review Date 7/25/2020
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.