Pain is a natural part of life, a biological warning system to alert you of illness and injury. Just as other body systems become dysfunctional, so can your pain response. Nerves can also work just fine while reporting on the effects of long-term degenerative conditions. In both cases, you may be left with chronic pain.
It’s one of the major causes of disability in the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 20% of the American population experience chronic pain and almost 7% have high-impact pain that significantly restricts the activities and tasks needed to get through the average day.
If you’re living with the effects of chronic pain, you need a medical partner to help you navigate life through the condition. The team at 360 Orthopedics specializes in personalized pain management programs, restoring your freedom to function.
Staying active is an important part of coping with chronic pain. It’s sometimes a difficult task, since the natural response to pain is rest. Your body, though, is made for motion and it carries out healing and pain relieving functions with greater efficiency when you maintain gentle movement rather than completely resting. You may be surprised at the analgesic properties of a 15-minute walk.
Listed below are some typical daily stretches that may help reduce your pain symptoms while balancing loads throughout your musculoskeletal system. We’ll work with you to match the exercises to your condition, and these are a place to start, as long as they don’t add additional pain.
The best stretches for you often target the location of your chronic pain symptoms. While lower back pain is a common chronic pain complaint, you might be bothered by other joints like the knees, hips, or shoulders. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common pain issue for office and factory workers, while teachers and servers may develop plantar fasciitis or ankle issues. The best stretches support your primary areas of concern.
Yoga poses often crop up when considering pain relieving stretches. Consider a combination of Child’s pose and cat stretches. These hands-and-knees positions can open your hips, stretch your lower back, while increasing both core strength and fundamental balance.
Feet and ankles
It’s hard to beat a heel raise with plié to relieve pain in the calf, shin, and through the feet and ankles. Stretching muscles from the front of the thigh through the calf and shin and on to the ankle and sole of your foot, this is a slow-building stretch that needs minimal repetitions.
Wrists and hands
Wrist extension stretches and wrist flexion stretches are the go-to exercises to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Add tendon glides and median nerve glides as your pain permits.
Heel and calf stretches facing a wall strengthen calf muscles while quadriceps stretches build the front thigh muscles, two sets of muscles that take some of the load off the knees.
There are, of course, many more stretches to support these and other pain centers on your body. Combined with light cardiopulmonary activities like walking and swimming, you may reduce your reliance on pain medications. Strength and cardio builders are often also pain healers.
Contact the nearest location of 360 Orthopedics to let us help you develop an activity plan that best compliments your chronic pain condition. Book your visit by phone or through our appointment request link on this page today.