Essential Stretches

These are the most frequently prescribed stretches in primary care. They relieve commonly encountered conditions as described below.

1. Lumbar stretch
Helps relieve latissimus dorsi muscle strain often caused by heavy lifting or shoveling. It also serves as an element of the treatment for lumbar disc bulges and herniations.
• Perform at least twice a day (morning and evening) on a soft floor (e.g. carpet or yoga mat)
• During stretch slowly reach to the left and right, arch back, and hold for 30 seconds, repeat 2x per side

2. Piriformis stretch
• Relieves the symptoms of sciatica
• Can be done seated or supine
• Perform four or more times a day, on each side, as needed
• Put the heel of the side that hurts above the opposite knee then pull knee toward the opposite shoulder and hold for 30 seconds, then relax and repeat 2x

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