Chronic Pain and the Holidays

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Chronic Pain and the Holidays

The holidays can bring a lot of stress to our minds as well as our bodies. It is crucial to take care of our bodies during the holidays. Chronic pain can potentially restrict you from participating in holiday activities. We want you to be able to enjoy all the holiday fun, continue reading to learn about a few stretches that could relieve some of your chronic pain and allow you to have a fun time this holiday season!  

Stretches For Back Pain  

Child’s Pose – allows you to stretch your back and your muscles around your hips and can help relief pain and tension.  

  1. Kneel and sit down on your knees, keeping your knees hip-length apart.  
  2. Hinge at your hips, fold forward, and walk your hands far out in front of you.  
  3. Focus on your breathing and try to relax as much as possible.  
  • Here is a video for further instruction!  

Seated Spinal Stretch – this stretch will help increase mobility in your spine while stretching your shoulders, neck, and back!  

  1. Start by sitting down on the floor with both legs extended out in front of you. 
  2. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the outside of your left leg. 
  3. Place your left arm on the outside of your left thigh 
  4. Use your right hand behind you for support.  
  5. Gently twist, starting at the base of your spine, over your right shoulder. 
  6. Repeat on the other side.  
  • Here is a more in-depth instructional video to help you do this stretch correctly! 

Stretches For Knee Pain 

Calf Stretchstretching your calves can help relieve the pressure off your knee and help relieve pressure off your feet too!  

  1. Start this stretch by standing in front of a wall  
  2. Place your hands on the wall & place one foot behind you as far as you can comfortably. 
  3. Lean into the stretch by bending your front leg. 
  4. Repeat on the other leg.  
  • Here is a video for further instructions and tips!  

Quadriceps Stretch – this stretch can help improve your flexibility in your hip flexors and quadriceps.  

  1. Start this stretch by standing up – you can use a wall or chair for support.  
  2. Bend your right knee
  3. Grab your right foot with your right hand.  
  4. Pull your right foot until you feel the stretch in your quadriceps.  
  5. Repeat on the other side. 
  • Here is a video that shows a visual of this stretch!  

Shoulder Stretches 

Cross Body Shoulder Stretch – this stretch helps with increasing flexibility and range of motion in the shoulder joint and is great for pain relief!  

  1. Start by bringing your right arm across your chest. 
  2. Place your right arm in the crease of your left elbow – you can use your left hand for support if needed.  
  3. Hold this position for 1 minute.  
  4. Repeat on the other side.  
  • Here is a video on how to do this stretch!  

Neck Release – This stretch can help loosen the tightness and tension in the shoulders and neck. 

  1. Start by standing up and making sure that your back is straight.  
  2. Begin lowering your chin towards your chest.  
  3. Gently tilt your head to the right and then to the left to stretch both shoulders.  
  4. You can use your hand and place it gently on your head to deepen the stretch.  
  • Here are a few other helpful neck and shoulder stretches to relieve pain!  

Don’t let your chronic pain stop you from enjoying all the holiday festivities this holiday season! Take a few minutes and try a few of these stretches to help you release tension and relieve some of your chronic pain. It is important to remember when doing any of these stretches, if your pain worsens to immediately stop the stretch and consult your doctor. We hope that these stretches will help you get through the holiday season with a little less pain! Happy Holidays!