Stretching can help chronic pain patients elongate their muscles, improve joint circulation, increase flexibility, improve range of motion, and reduce stiffness. Light, gentle, long-hold, and static stretching techniques are important to incorporate into your daily routine to alleviate chronic pain symptoms.
Light and gentle stretching means that the tension you feel on your body when completing a stretch should be mild. Relaxed and light stretching should feel pleasurable.
Long-hold stretching refers to holding the stretched position for at least 60 seconds to get maximum relaxation from your muscles and connective tissues. Holding a stretch for 60 seconds is long enough to allow your nervous system to adapt to the changing muscle length.
Static stretching refers to getting into a stretched position and holding it – keeping the body under tension while the muscles are stretched. In doing so, the opposing muscle group and the muscles to be stretched will be in a relaxed state. Then slowly and cautiously increase the tension from the stretched muscle group – holding the position for at least 60 seconds to allow all stretched muscles to lengthen.