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Stretching is a great way to combat a muscle spasm. Think of stretching as the "opposite" of a muscle spasm.
When you stretch, keep these points in mind:
1. Stretch slow and easy.
2. Do not "bounce" or "pulse" while stretching.
3. Do not stretch past the point of pain.
Stretching your lower back:
1. Sit on a firm chair or bench.
2. Lean forward, from the waist, very slowly.
3. To get a bigger stretch, raise your arms over your head and clasp your hands together…then lean forward.
4. Go as far as you can without causing additional pain.
5. Return to the sitting position slowly.
6. Do this 2-3 times; every couple of hours if needed. (Especially if you have a job where you are sitting most of the day).
If you go to a gym, a nice back stretch can be done on the Roman Chair. Hang down and grasp the center post with both hands, pull yourself towards the post, feeling the low back stretch.
Stretching your upper back (scapula or shoulder blade area):
1. Place your elbows at your side.
2. Move your elbows behind you, pressing your shoulder blades together. (You could also clasp your hands behind your back).
3. Hold that position for about 5 seconds.
4. Now, stretch the other way…
5. Bring your elbows forward, rounding your shoulders, like your giving yourself a hug….
6. Hold for about 5 seconds.
7. Do this 2-3 times; every couple of hours if needed.
If you go to a gym, a nice upper back stretch can be done using the Latissimus Pull Down. Sit up straight, pull the bar down behind your head to the level of your shoulders.
Do this about 5 times or more if it feels comfortable.
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