Stretch

Stretch

Chronic pain may make your muscles and joints ache. No one wants to bend and move when it hurts. To help reduce aches, stretch regularly. Stretching keeps your joints limber, sends more oxygen to your muscles, and improves your range of motion.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, nerve pain

Symptoms: aching,stiffness, stiffness after rest, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, muscle pain, joint tenderness, lower back pain, upper back pain, all over pain, elbow pain, hip pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, fatigue, difficulty standing, difficulty sitting, back pain, joint pain, nerve pain, pain, pain at night, pain worse in A.M., hip pain, leg pain, spine pain, tender points, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Exercise

Duration

14

Stretching Basics

Aim to stretch regularly -- ideally 30 minutes 3 times a week -- but do whatever you can. Warm up your muscles and joints before you stretch by walking or doing light activity for 5 to 10 minutes first. Hold each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds -- remember to breathe, and don't bounce. Ask your doctor or physical therapist to recommend stretches. You can also browse Tips for stretches. Note how often you stretch every week in your Journal.

Prompt: Stretch often.

CTA: Plan to stretch.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, nerve pain

Symptoms: aching,stiffness, stiffness after rest, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, muscle pain, joint tenderness, lower back pain, upper back pain, all over pain, elbow pain, hip pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, fatigue, difficulty standing, difficulty sitting, back pain, joint pain, nerve pain, pain, pain at night, pain worse in A.M., hip pain, leg pain, spine pain, tender points, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint

Triggers: driving a long time, inactivity, not exercising, exercising, housework, lying down, moving around, sitting too long, sleeping too long, heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, repetitive motions, twisting, overdoing it, injury, carrying or lifting, craning neck, excess activity, holding a child, sports injury, desk work, overuse, poor posture, standing too long

Treatments: Exercise, stretching, tai chi, yoga, range-of-motion exercises

Categories: Exercise

Stretch Out in Water

Stretching doesn't have to be done on dry land. Some people prefer to stretch in a pool, warm bath, or a hot tub. The buoyancy of water can make moving sore muscles easier, while offering gentle resistance. Warm water is especially soothing for sore muscles and joints.

Prompt: Water stretches.

CTA: Try stretching in a pool.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, nerve pain

Symptoms: aching,stiffness, stiffness after rest, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, muscle pain, joint tenderness, lower back pain, upper back pain, all over pain, elbow pain, hip pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, fatigue, difficulty standing, difficulty sitting, back pain, joint pain, nerve pain, pain, pain at night, pain worse in A.M., leg pain, spine pain, tender points, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint

Triggers: driving a long time, inactivity, not exercising, exercising, housework, lying down, moving around, sitting too long, sleeping too long, heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, repetitive motions, twisting, overdoing it, injury, carrying or lifting, craning neck, excess activity, holding a child, sports injury, desk work, overuse, poor posture, standing too long

Treatments: Exercise, stretching, tai chi, yoga, range-of-motion exercises

Categories: Exercise

Range of Motion

Is it hard to reach overhead or bend to pick up something? Try this range-of-motion exercise to help:

1. Sit and rest interlaced fingers on your lap.

2. As you exhale, raise arms overhead, only as high as is comfortable. Hold a few seconds.

3. As you inhale, bring hands back to your lap. Repeat 10 times.

4. As this gets easier, lean to each side for a few seconds when arms are raised.

Ask your doctor or physical therapist for more range-of-motion exercises to help you bend and move easily.

Prompt: Move easier.

CTA: Improve your range of motion.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching,stiffness, stiffness after rest, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, muscle pain, joint tenderness, lower back pain, upper back pain, all over pain, elbow pain, hip pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, fatigue, difficulty standing, difficulty sitting, back pain, joint pain, nerve pain, pain, pain at night, pain worse in A.M., hip pain, leg pain, spine pain, tender points, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint

Triggers: driving a long time, inactivity, not exercising, exercising, housework, lying down, moving around, sitting too long, sleeping too long, heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, repetitive motions, twisting, overdoing it, injury, carrying or lifting, craning neck, excess activity, holding a child, sports injury, desk work, overuse, poor posture, standing too long

Treatments: Exercise, stretching, tai chi, yoga, range-of-motion exercises

Categories: Exercise

Stretches to Try

Here are a few stretches to improve your flexibility:

* While sitting in a chair, extend one leg in front of you. Rotate it to the right, then the left 10 times. Repeat with your other leg.

* Do the same exercise with each arm.

* Model this stretch for each joint to increase range of motion and prevent injury. Do slow, circular movements of your ankles, shoulders, and wrists clockwise, and then counterclockwise.

Prompt: Flexibility stretches.

CTA: Do these stretches anywhere.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching,stiffness, stiffness after rest, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, muscle pain, joint tenderness, lower back pain, upper back pain, all over pain, elbow pain, hip pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, fatigue, difficulty standing, difficulty sitting, back pain, joint pain, nerve pain, pain, pain at night, pain worse in A.M., hip pain, leg pain, spine pain, tender points, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint

Triggers: driving a long time, inactivity, not exercising, exercising, housework, lying down, moving around, sitting too long, sleeping too long, heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, repetitive motions, twisting, overdoing it, injury, carrying or lifting, craning neck, excess activity, holding a child, sports injury, desk work, overuse, poor posture, standing too long

Treatments: Exercise, stretching, tai chi, yoga, Pilates, range-of-motion exercises

Categories: Exercise

Cat Stretch

To do this simple stretch, get on your hands and knees on a rug or mat. You can use a towel or pillow for extra padding.

As you exhale, arch your back and look towards your belly. Hold for a few seconds.

As you inhale, release your belly, point your chin towards the ceiling, and pull your shoulders together. Repeat this stretch 5 times.

Prompt: Stretch like a cat.

CTA: Stretch your back.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis

Symptoms: aching,stiffness, stiffness after rest, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, muscle pain, joint tenderness, lower back pain, upper back pain, all over pain, shoulder pain, fatigue, difficulty standing, difficulty sitting, joint pain, nerve pain, pain, pain at night, pain worse in A.M., tender points, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint

Triggers: driving a long time, inactivity, not exercising, exercising, housework, lying down, moving around, sitting too long, sleeping too long, heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, repetitive motions, twisting, overdoing it, injury, carrying or lifting, craning neck, excess activity, holding a child, sports injury, desk work, overuse, poor posture, standing too long

Treatments: Exercise, stretching, tai chi, yoga, Pilates, range-of-motion exercises

Categories: Exercise

Seated Cat Stretch

If getting on your hands and knees is not comfortable or easy, try this seated cat stretch:

* Sit up tall in a chair.

* Extend your arms in front of you and interlace your fingers, palms facing away from you.

* As you exhale, arch your upper back, pulling your chin towards your chest, and looking at your navel.

* Hold for a few seconds, and return to sitting up tall as you inhale.

* Repeat 5 times.

Prompt: Seated cat stretch.

CTA: Modify for sore knees.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain

Symptoms: aching,stiffness, stiffness after rest, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, muscle pain, joint tenderness, lower back pain, upper back pain, all over pain, shoulder pain, fatigue, difficulty standing, difficulty sitting, knee pain, hip pain, back pain, nerve pain, pain, pain at night, pain worse in A.M., tender points, pinched nerve

Triggers: driving a long time, inactivity, not exercising, exercising, housework, lying down, moving around, sitting too long, sleeping too long, heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, repetitive motions, twisting, overdoing it, injury, carrying or lifting, craning neck, excess activity, holding a child, sports injury, desk work, overuse, poor posture, standing too long

Treatments: Exercise, stretching, tai chi, yoga, Pilates, range-of-motion exercises

Categories: Exercise

Fish Pose

This stretch is especially good after working on a computer:

1. Lie flat on your back on a rug or mat. Place your hands under your buttocks with palms flat on the floor.

2. Keep your legs together and prop up on your elbows as you lift your chest and arch your upper back.

3. Allow your head to drop back, relaxed.

4. Take a few deep breaths.

5. Release and lie back down slowly.

6. Repeat 3 times.

Prompt: Relax like a fish.

CTA: Ease sore muscles.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain

Symptoms: aching,stiffness, stiffness after rest, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, muscle pain, joint tenderness, lower back pain, all over pain, shoulder pain, fatigue, difficulty standing, difficulty sitting, back pain, pain, pain at night, pain worse in A.M., tender points,

Triggers: driving a long time, inactivity, not exercising, exercising, housework, lying down, moving around, sitting too long, sleeping too long, heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, repetitive motions, twisting, overdoing it, injury, carrying or lifting, craning neck, excess activity, holding a child, sports injury, desk work, overuse, poor posture, standing too long

Treatments: Exercise, stretching, tai chi, yoga, Pilates, range-of-motion exercises,

Categories: Exercise

Seated Fish Pose

You can do this simple stretch right in the middle of your workday to help relieve stress:

1. Sit in a chair and place your hands behind you.

2. Gently drop your head backwards, open your chest, and arch up toward the ceiling.

3. Take a few deep breaths and release.

4. Repeat 3 times.

Prompt: Try a seated fish pose.

CTA: Stretch at your desk.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain

Symptoms: aching,stiffness, stiffness after rest, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, muscle pain, joint tenderness, lower back pain, upper back pain, all over pain, elbow pain, hip pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, fatigue, difficulty standing, difficulty sitting, back pain, joint pain, nerve pain, pain, pain at night, pain worse in A.M., hip pain, leg pain, spine pain, tender points, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint

Triggers: driving a long time, inactivity, not exercising, exercising, housework, lying down, moving around, sitting too long, sleeping too long, heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, repetitive motions, twisting, overdoing it, injury, carrying or lifting, craning neck, excess activity, holding a child, pushing or pulling, sports injury, desk work, overuse, poor posture, standing too long

Treatments: Exercise, stretching, tai chi, yoga, Pilates, range-of-motion exercises

Categories: Exercise

Stretching Classes

If stretching by yourself doesn't appeal to you -- or you're not sure how to stretch -- join a class. Look for a traditional stretching class or one that teaches yoga or tai chi. Look for beginner classes at a local fitness center, community center, or a yoga or martial arts studio. You can also search the Yoga Alliance web site for certified yoga teachers near you. Browse Goals to learn more about yoga and tai chi.

Prompt: Join a class.

CTA: Try stretching, yoga, or tai chi.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain

Symptoms: aching,stiffness, stiffness after rest, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, muscle pain, joint tenderness, lower back pain, upper back pain, all over pain, elbow pain, hip pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, fatigue, difficulty standing, difficulty sitting, back pain, joint pain, nerve pain, pain, pain at night, pain worse in A.M., hip pain, leg pain, spine pain, tender points, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint

Triggers: driving a long time, inactivity, not exercising, exercising, housework, lying down, moving around, sitting too long, sleeping too long , heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, repetitive motions, twisting, overdoing it, injury, carrying or lifting, craning neck, excess activity, holding a child, sports injury, desk work, overuse, poor posture, standing too long

Treatments: Exercise, stretching, tai chi, yoga, Pilates, range-of-motion exercises

Categories: Exercise

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Ross Brakeville, DPT on September 29, 2016

Sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Fibromyalgia and Exercise."

American Council on Exercise: "Exercise and Fibromyalgia," "Flexible Benefits."

American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association: "What is Fibromyalgia?"

American Pain Society.

Arthritis Foundation: "Types of Exercise," "Water Exercise," "Learn to Stretch by Watching Your Pet," "Fibromyalgia: What Is It?" "Fibromyalgia: What Causes It?" "Fibromyalgia: Treatment Options."

Fibromyalgia Network: "Symptoms," "Treatment Studies."

Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center: "Yoga for People with Arthritis."

Matallana, L. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fibromyalgia, Alpha Books (Penguin), 2009.

MedLine Plus: "Fibromyalgia."

National Fibromyalgia Association: "Understanding Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain," "What are the Symptoms?"

National Fibromyalgia Research Association.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Fibromyalgia," "Fast Facts About Fibromyalgia."

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