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American Stroke Foundation

ExerciseSpasticity & Stroke: Seated Stretching Routine

Spasticity & Stroke: Seated Stretching Routine

This video provides 5 different exercises to help prevent and reduce tight and stiff muscles.

Overview of spasticity (0:06 – 0:45)

Spasticity is when you have stiff or tight muscles. To prevent this, stretching is important.

Equipment needed (0:45 – 1:30)

For today’s stretches, you should be seated in a sturdy chair, with non-slip shoes on, near a table and/or a wall. It would also be helpful to have a towel, band, or belt available.

Warm up (1:30 – 3:50)

Warm up includes some deep breathing, neck stretches, and shoulder rolls.

Exercises (3:50-14:50)

  1. Hand stretch (3:50 – 6:15). Stretch out one hand at a time by placing it firmly on the table and then apply pressure to the top.
  2. Shoulder stretch (6:15 – 8:15). Perform this shoulder stretch by placing your hand on a stable surface such as a wall or table and turning slightly in the opposite direction.
  3. Arm raises (8:20 – 11:05). Using a towel, belt, or band extend arms straight and raise them up as far as you can while keeping them straight.
  4. Hamstring stretch (11:10 – 12:50). Sitting at the edge of your chair, stretch out one leg at a time. Place the towel, belt, or band around the foot and lean slightly forward to get a good hamstring stretch.
  5. Hip stretch (12:55 – 14:50). To stretch out your hips, cross your legs at the knees or the ankle and lean slightly forward.

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