Exercises to Loosen Muscle Spasticity

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Here are a few examples of functional exercises for those living with muscle spasticity. Before you begin any routines, talk with your doctor or a specialist to see if exercise is right for you.

Start seated in a chair and imagine a string pulling from the top of your head. Place your hands on your thighs, fingers pointed in, and begin shifting your weight from side to side. Hold the position on each side for a few seconds and then repeat 6 to 10 times.

Next, we are going to lace your fingers together and extend your arms forward. From this position, begin slowly dropping your chin towards your chest. When you feel a gentle stretch, hold that position for a few moments. Then return to the starting position and repeat 6 to 10 times.

For the next exercise, you will need a stress ball. Pick it up with one hand or wrap your fingers around the ball and begin squeezing it by closing your fist and holding for a few seconds. You can repeat this up to 20 times in a row or two sets of 10. Repeat on both hands.

From the same position, we will practice a reaching movement. Extend your arm, elbow, and hand, and fingers forward as if you were reaching for a glass. Make a fist at the full extension and bring it back in. You can repeat this up to 20 times and then switch to the other side.

Now we will begin to focus on the legs. From a seated position, slowly lift one leg to full extension and return. Alternate this movement with your other leg and repeat 4 to 5 times on each side.

For the next exercise, you will need a rolled-up sticky mat. Stand near a chair and place the support on the ground. Use the chair to support and place one foot at a time on the roll. Slightly bend your other knee to create a stretch in your calf muscle. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times. Be sure to do both sides.

Our last standing exercise is a wall pushup. Find a sturdy wall and place your hands on it shoulder width apart. Slowly do a pushup motion to the wall in order to stretch your wrists and calves. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and then push back up. You can repeat this 5 to 10 times.

Lastly, we want to take some time to breathe into any areas of tension or stress. Find a comfortable chair to sit in. Close your eyes. And focus on the breath. You can breathe into areas that create tension or feel stressed. In and out with the breath, and repeat for about 5 minutes or so. Exercises cannot cure spasticity, but they can help manage your range of mobility. Take care.