What’s a “ROM” measurement and why is it so important?

In all accident cases, it is necessary to prove you suffered an injury.  In a motor vehicle accident case, the injury must be what the law considers a “serious injury”.  Oftentimes, an injury may limit the degree to which you bend your neck, back, arm, knee, etc.  These limitations can be crucial evidence in proving the extent to which you are hurt. 


Physiatrists, chiropractors and physical therapists, among other health care providers, may take what’s called a “ROM” measurement of the injured part of your body.  ROM stands for range of motion.  Sometimes a medical provider will use a device, like a goniometer, to take a ROM measurement.  They will compare your ROM measurements to what are considered to be the normal ROM measurements.  Any difference between your values and what is considered normal will be considered a limitation. 


If at all possible, speak with your medical provider and ask whether he or she can take ROM measurements during your physical examination.  Some doctors take ROM measurements during each visit, which may show that your limitations continue over a period of time. 


These ROM measurements are important because they will help prove the extent to which you are hurt.  This is especially the case in motor vehicle accidents when your attorney must prove you are “seriously” injured, as defined by the law.