Active vs. Passive Range of Motion and Why it Matters to You

Active and passive range of motion assessments are commonly used in physical therapist-like settings. Active range of motion, sometimes called AROM (pronounced A-rahm) is the range of motion that a person demonstrates on their own body. You are doing AROM when you move your own leg. Passive range of motion, sometimes called PROM (pronounced pee-rahm), is when somebody else moves that person’s body for them. For example, if you need a PROM assessment in the above example, somebody else will move your leg for you. I use these assessments frequently during massages to help guide me into a more effective massage. And recently, I used these assessments on my husband. Active and passive range of motion can be useful in your day to day life, helping you figure out what might be wrong with your body.