Range of motion measurements: Reference values and a database for comparison studies

J. M. Soucie, C. Wang, A. Forsyth, S. Funk, M. Denny, K. E. Roach, D. Boone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


Many diseases and injuries can impair joint mobility. Normal reference values are needed to determine extent of impairment to assess and monitor joint motion. There is very little published data describing normal joint range of motion (ROM) for healthy men and women across a wide span of ages. We enrolled male and female subjects aged between 2 and 69years who were free from conditions that could potentially limit joint mobility for the study. Nine licensed physical therapists used universal goniometers to determine passive joint motion bilaterally of elbow flexion, extension, supination and pronation, shoulder flexion, hip flexion and extension, knee flexion and extension, and ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion. Descriptive statistics were calculated for male and female subjects in four age groups: 2-8, 9-19, 20-44 and 45-69years. Joint ROM measurements were obtained on a total of 674 (53.6% female) healthy, normal subjects aged 2-69years. Female subjects had greater joint mobility in all age groups in nearly all joints and the gender difference was most obvious in measures of ankle plantarflexion, elbow pronation and supination. Range of motion average values for all joints decreased with advancing age for both men and women and, in most cases, were significantly different than most commonly used normative values. Our study of ROM measurements taken by trained physical therapists on a large sample of healthy individuals revealed significant gender- and age-related variation that may be an important consideration in patient assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-507
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2011


  • Joint flexibility
  • Joint range of motion
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Reference values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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