Neck and upper back muscle relaxation techniques
- Sitting with the arms resting comfortably on the lap,
- Bend the neck forward and backward. (Backward bending is contraindicated with symptoms of nerve root compression.)
- Side bend the head in each direction;
- rotate the head in each direction.
- Roll the shoulders; protract, elevate, retract, and then relax the scapulae (in a position of good posture).
- Circle the arms (shoulder circumduction).
- shoulder circumduction only clockwise (forward, up, around, and then back, so the scapulae end up in a retracted position). This has the benefit of helping retrain proper posture.
lower back muscle relaxation techniques
Position: Sitting or standing.
- If standing,
- the feet should be shoulder-width apart with the knees slightly bent.
- Have the patient place the hands at the waist with the fingers pointing backward.
- Extend the lumbar spine
- by leaning the trunk backward.
- This is particularly beneficial when the person must sit or stand in a forward-bent position for prolonged periods.
- Flex the lumbar spine
- by contracting the abdominal muscles, causing a posterior pelvic tilt;
- “Toe-touching” exercises are not advocated for individuals with low-back impairments because of the stress placed on the low back structures.
- Side bend in each direction.
- Rotate the trunk by turning in each direction while keeping the pelvis facing forward.
- Stand up and walk around at frequent intervals when sitting for extended periods.