Stretching Exercises for Paraplegic Spasms
Stretching exercises for paraplegic spasms are aimed at helping you reduce the frequency of leg spasms via range-of-motion work as well as strengthening work. While spasms can sometimes be brought on by extensive stretching, the Apparelyzed website notes, in the long run, regular stretching workouts will help reduce paraplegic spasms by loosening up tight muscles. Physical therapists treating paraplegics should follow doctor's instructions when helping patients through stretching exercises.
Leg extensions will help you reduce paraplegic spasms by loosening patient's leg muscles. While your patient is seated in her wheelchair or in a regular chair, place one hand under her knee and the other hand under her ankle. Extend her leg by lifting her ankle up until her leg is parallel to the floor. Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds before returning the leg to its original position. Repeat with both legs until fatigued.
Knee bends will help your patient improve range of motion in his legs, indirectly reducing his chances of paraplegic spasms. While your patient is lying in bed or on the floor, place both hands directly under one knee. Push the knee in toward his chest, bending as far as it will comfortably go. Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds before relaxing the knee. Repeat with both legs five times.
Ankle pumps will help reduce spasms by increasing circulation and strength in calf and ankle muscles. While your patient is seated or lying down, place both hands directly under one ankle. Lift that leg up until it is parallel to the ground. Grab with one hand around the front portion of his ankle, pumping and extending the ankle backward and forward 10 times. Repeat one his other leg.
Hamstring stretches will help extend and stretch the hamstring muscles. While your patient is lying flat on her back, lift one of her legs up and off of the ground. Place your shoulder under the knee of this leg. Push forward, making sure that as you do so her other leg is flat on the ground. Continue to push up, slowly pushing further and further to loosen the muscle. Relax the muscle and repeat with her other leg.
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.