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Saturday, December 12, 2015

You Can...Stay Flexible Through Stretching

Stretching is a simple and all-natural therapy for reduced range of motion and spasticity caused by MS. Both symptoms can lead to limited mobility, pain and reduced enjoyment of life.
But that doesn't have to happen. You CAN maintain and even increase your flexibility through stretching.

What is stretching?

Stretching is a process of muscle and soft tissue elongation that is thought to:
  • Increase range of motion and flexibility
  • Promote relaxation
  • Reduce pain
  • Improve function and mobility
  • Normalize muscle tone and tightness
  • Prevent contractures (joints with limited mobility due to spasticity)
There are no conclusive studies on the long-term benefits of stretching on people with MS. Within existing studies, stretching parameters vary widely, so make sure to discuss any regimen with your healthcare provider first. Ask your chapter about stretching classes with instructors experienced in MS.

Get stretching!

Try active or passive stretching:
  • Active stretching contracts the muscles opposite the ones being stretched. For example, when you contract your buttock muscles to lift the pelvis, you will simultaneously stretch the front thigh.
  • In passive stretching, gravity can assist the stretch, or another person can manually stretch you. Equipment such as a brace that holds the joint at a specific angle, or a serial cast, which increases a stretch over time are other options. Ergometers, or arm cycles, also work well for managing spasticity and maintaining range of motion. Ask if you can use one in a physical therapist's (PT) office.

A little medical help

Continue reading  from this MS Society website article

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