Passive range-of-motion exercises involve a provider moving each of an immobilized patient's joints through its full range of motion without the patient contracting any muscles, explains Assessment Technologies Institute. Alternatively, a continuous passive range-of-motion device can flex and extend the joints for prescribed periods of time.
To passively exercise a patient's elbow, a health care professional bends and straightens the joint into palm-down, palm-up and thumb-down positions, describes the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The provider may also rotate the patient's palm toward and away from his face with the elbow bent by his side. One example of a passive range-of-motion exercise for the toes involves bending and straightening each individual toe, then spreading the toes apart.