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Stretches for Chronic Pain

Stretching and getting your body active daily can be one of the best ways to soothe and relieve chronic pain all over the body. Regularly stretching your painful or sore areas can help to improve your range of motion, strengthen your muscles and joints to lessen the risk of injury, and reduce any tension in the muscles which can increase pain. Whether you suffer from back, neck, hip, or shoulder pain, there are a number of stretches that can help you!

Stretches to reduce pain

When you’re stretching to lessen aches and pains, it’s important to remember that you never want to force anything. Listen to your body and do what feels good for you. After all, you don’t want to make your pain worse! With each movement, you’ll want to hold the stretch for about 15-30 seconds to see a noticeable difference in your muscles. Additionally, you may want to repeat each stretch about 4 times to lengthen the muscles. Lastly, make sure to do these stretches daily to encourage a long-term positive effect.

Back Pain

Back pain can be debilitating for anyone whether you are constantly active or have to sit at a desk all day during work. And while there are many pain relief methods to help your back, stretching is one of the easiest and effective ways to reduce soreness. Most people suffer from back pain in targeted areas such as their lower or upper back, but it’s never a bad idea to focus on your entire back to lessen the risk of any future pain!

1. Knee to chest

The knee to chest stretch is one of the most commonly used stretches to help relieve lower back pain. Lie on a flat surface with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Place your hands behind one knee and pull towards your chest until you feel the muscles in your glutes being stretched. Don’t forget to repeat this motion with your other knee.

2. Child’s pose

Many yoga moves are amazing to stretch out the back and strengthen the muscles. Child’s pose (one of the most popular poses in yoga) is great to stretch out your thighs, glutes, and spinal extensors. Start off by sitting on your knees and hinging back at the hips, folding forward. Your stomach should be resting on your thighs and your hands should be extended in front of you. You can either place your knees in a wide stance or close together depending on what feels good to you!

3. Spinal twist

A seated spinal twist is another great stretch (also used in yoga frequently) which actually loosens up the muscles in your back, hips, and glutes! Sit on a flat surface with your legs extended in front of you. Bend one of your knees and pull the foot up to your thigh. Place your arm on the opposite side (so if your left knee is pulled up, use your right arm) to the outside of your thigh. Place the opposite hand behind you on the ground and twist to the side from the base of your spine. Repeat on the other side.

Neck Pain

With the constant use of computers and TV screens, neck pain is an issue now more than ever! Try these simple stretches if you suffer from frequent pain in your neck.

1. Chin to chest

This is one of the easiest stretches but the relief you’ll feel is still very high! Simply bend your head over and stretch your chin to your chest. You should feel this stretch in the back of your neck.

2. Neck rotation

Keep your back as straight as possible and try not to move your shoulders while turning your head to one side as far as it can go. Once you’ve turned all the way you can, hold your head there for a few seconds. Repeat on the opposite side daily to reduce stiffness in the neck.

Hip Pain

Chronic hip pain can greatly reduce your mobility and make it difficult to complete even the simplest of tasks. While it may take some getting used to at first, these hip stretches will make a huge difference.

1. Kneeling lunge

Start by sitting on your knees in an upright position. Place one foot out at a 90 degree angle with the foot flat on the floor. Make sure to keep your weight evenly distributed between both legs so you’re not dumping into one hip and causing further issues. Rest both of your hands on top of the leg that is out and lean forward. You will feel the stretch in your opposite leg and in your hip.

2. External hip rotation

Often called the butterfly by children, this simple hip rotation can make all the difference. Sit on a flat surface and press the soles of the feet together while bending at the knees. Place your hands on top of your knees and gently press them closer to the floor. Hold this position for 15 seconds and repeat as many times as you need.

Shoulder Pain

Many people carry tension in their shoulders which can lead to sore muscles and painful joints. Stretching out your shoulders can reduce this tension and lower the risk of injury.

1. Ear to shoulder

Start by keeping your shoulders down and sit or stand in an upright position. Bend your neck to the side almost like you are trying to touch your shoulder to your ear. You’ll feel this in the side of the neck. Make sure to repeat this on the opposite side. This movement helps both your neck and your shoulders!

2. Across-the-chest

This is another common stretch that increases the range of motion in your shoulder. Extend one arm out in front of you and bring it across your chest. Place your other arm on top of the extended arm to help deepen the stretch.

At-home pain relief

While stretching can help greatly in relieving pain, it’s also a good idea to keep some other pain relief options at home for those flare-up days. The SINSINPAS AREX Instant Pain Relief Patches are a great option for over-the-counter pain relief to help with backaches, sprains, and muscle and joint pain. These patches are great to use in combination with daily stretching and movement to greatly reduce your pain levels and risk of injury!

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