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6 Simple Stretches to Alleviate Chronic Pain

 It's easy to think that your discomfort will never go away when you're dealing with pain on a regular basis. This partly occurs because your body and brain are stuck in a faulty pain-signaling loop, where the brain continues to receive pain messages long after major damage has been healed. Despite this, psychological factors are not to blame. The pain signal is real and kept alive in a self-perpetuating biochemical loop - very much like a broken record that continues to skip. So, how can you break this terrible cycle? A great place to begin is exercising.
 
The following list of exercises can be done even when you feel some discomfort. Nevertheless, if knee pain sensations do kick in, stop immediately as this is an important part of your healing. It's always essential that you exercise in a pain-free way. 
 
1. Side-to side steps
chronic pain exercises
FROM “FOREVER PAINLESS: END CHRONIC PAIN AND RECLAIM YOUR LIFE IN 30 MINUTES A DAY BY MIRANDA ESMOND-WHITE.
Benefits: Loosens the ankles, legs and hip muscles while improving your circulation.
Here's How:
1. Come into a standing position and slightly bend your knees. 
2. Extend your left leg out to the side as far as possible, stepping carefully and lightly on your foot, while trying to pull the weight of your body upward and away from the floor. This pulling-up method will stop you from landing with a heavy impact on your foot, which is hard on your joints.
3. Bring your feet together and bend your knees. Keep both heels flat on the ground, ensuring that your weight is evenly distributed over your feet. Ensure that your soles are not rolling inward or outward - rolling will cause joint pain and damage. 
Alternate from left to right 16 to 32 times. 
2. Full arm circles
chronic pain exercises
FROM “FOREVER PAINLESS: END CHRONIC PAIN AND RECLAIM YOUR LIFE IN 30 MINUTES A DAY BY MIRANDA ESMOND-WHITE.
Benefits: Stretches and strengthens the torso.
Here's How:
1. Keep your legs in a wide, comfortable stance, knees slightly bent.
2. Reach one arm up. Imagine that you are drawing a large circle with your arm and torso, from the ceiling to the floor. Stay relaxed as you do the movements, especially from your shoulders and elbows. And breathe deeply throughout the movements. Don't rush, take your time to move carefully and fully control every movement.
Complete 4 large circles. 
3. Shin, calf, ankle and foot mobility sequence
chronic pain exercises
FROM “FOREVER PAINLESS: END CHRONIC PAIN AND RECLAIM YOUR LIFE IN 30 MINUTES A DAY BY MIRANDA ESMOND-WHITE.
Benefits: Instantly relieves calf, shin and foot pain. Stretches and strengthens the entire lower leg and foot. 
Here's How:
1. Face a chair, holding the back of it with your hands. Stand close enough so that you elbows are slightly bent.
2. Slowly bend your knees, enabling you to feel your muscles stretching. Then slowly raise your heels - you should feel your muscles lifting the entire body weight. Keep your movements slow to reap the strengthening benefits.
3. With your heels raised as high as possible slowly straighten your legs - this will actively stretch the shins, helping to relieve the pain. Then slowly lower your heels until they reach the ground once again.
Repeat 3 to 6 times. 
 
4. Hip stretching sequence
Benefits: Will loosen and stretch a chain of muscles that connects the torso to the legs. Tight hip muscles can cause tension down into the knees and feet, limiting their movement and leading to pain. 
Exercise 1:
chronic pain exercises
FROM “FOREVER PAINLESS: END CHRONIC PAIN AND RECLAIM YOUR LIFE IN 30 MINUTES A DAY BY MIRANDA ESMOND-WHITE.
Here's How: 
1. Stand diagonally behind a chair, placing the outside part of your leg on the seat. Bend both knees while holding the back of your chair for balance. 
2. Lift and lower your hips, swaying your hips from side to side. As you do so, you'll likely feel a loosening within your hip socket. 
Repeat 4 times on each side. 
Exercise 2:
chronic pain exercises
FROM “FOREVER PAINLESS: END CHRONIC PAIN AND RECLAIM YOUR LIFE IN 30 MINUTES A DAY BY MIRANDA ESMOND-WHITE.
Here's How:
1. Adjust your body so that you are facing the seat of the chair. Round your spine, dropping your shoulders forward, and tuck your tailbone under.
2. Shift your spine into a reverse position slowly, arching your back and sticking your rear out while shifting your weight forward. The more you exaggerate the movements, the better the results in loosening the joint. 
3. Return to the original position, rounding your back and tailbone tucked under.
Repeat 1 full round of arching and rounding for a total of 4 times. 
5. Psoas sequence for the hips
chronic pain exercises
FROM “FOREVER PAINLESS: END CHRONIC PAIN AND RECLAIM YOUR LIFE IN 30 MINUTES A DAY BY MIRANDA ESMOND-WHITE.
The psoas muscles are attached in the front of your thighbone and finish in several of the lower vertebra. Poor walking or lifestyle habits tend to tighten and shrink this area, creating an unbalance in the hip region, leading to chronic hip pain.
Benefits: Stretches the psoas, relieves hip tension and consequently, back pain. 
Here's How: 
1. Stand behind a chair. Place one foot flat on the seat of the chair, with your knee bent and the other leg straight behind you.
2. Hold the back of the chair for support and raise the heel of your standing leg. Then bend the knee of your standing leg and tuck your tailbone under your hips, shifting your weight forward toward the seat of the chair.
3. Lock your tailbone in the tucked under position, simultaneously straightening the back leg and pressing the back heel into the floor. You may feel a stretch elsewhere in your thigh. Then return to the starting position. 
Repeat the psoas stretch slowly, 3 times on each leg.
6. Zombie swings
chronic pain exercises
FROM “FOREVER PAINLESS: END CHRONIC PAIN AND RECLAIM YOUR LIFE IN 30 MINUTES A DAY BY MIRANDA ESMOND-WHITE.
Benefits: Decompresses the vertebrae as your spine hangs partially upside-down. It helps pull the vertebrae apart, relieving back pain and muscle tension. If you feel pain when you start to move, stop, let the pain dissipate and keep moving.
Here's How: 
1. Stand with your feet parallel, in a wide comfortable stance. Keep your muscles loose and relaxed. 
2. Breathe deeply before beginning, this will help you focus on relaxing your muscles.
3. Tuck your tailbone under your hips and keep your knees slightly bent. 
4. Slowly walk your fingertips down the front of your thighs and stop when you arrive at your knees. Keep your neck relaxed, hanging your neck lower than your head.
5. Sway side to side for 4 to 8 times. Then slowly roll up one vertebrae at a time back to your starting position.
Repeat 2 times. 
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