Struggling to Relieve Pain? Try These Exercises

Do you find chronic pain is causing interruptions in your day-to-day life? In some cases, chronic pain can indicate underlying health issues, but it is most commonly caused by a sedentary lifestyle, injuries, and aging.

Stretching regularly relieves the tight muscles in your body but can also help keep you stay healthy and limber as you age. Additionally, if you have recently suffered an injury, adding stretching exercises to your daily routine recommended by a physiotherapist complements your progress in the clinic. Consistency is critical for quicker relief and recovery, along with working to prevent injuries in the future.

Side View Young Man Stretching

To help you get started, we will review our favourite physiotherapist’s recommended exercises for relieving pain in commonly painful areas.

Stretches for Neck and Shoulder Pain

Below is our top list for relieving your neck or shoulder pain.

Before you begin, you will always want to warm up your body. Warming up can be as simple as a 5-10 minute walk on the treadmill, bike, or Stairmaster. It is up to you. If you are at home, you can do cardio exercises like jumping jacks and high knees. If you need low-impact movements like marching in place works perfectly.

Forward and Backward Tilt
1. Sit or stand in a relaxed position facing forward, back straight.
2. Tilt your head towards your chest, keeping your shoulders and back straight. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds.
3. After the elapsed time, tilt your head back. Hold again for 15-30 seconds.
4. Repeat 2-3 times

Neck stretch exercise for neck pain

Neck Rolls
1. Sit or stand facing forward. Tilt your head to the right and hold the fold for three seconds.
2. After the elapsed time, roll your head down and hold it when you reach the left side. Hold for another 3 seconds.
3. Repeat this motion 3-5 times.


1. Find a counter, lean forward, and place your right or left hand on the surface.
2. Please take the free hand and gently allow it to swing forwards, backward, side-to-side, and circular motions.
3. Repeat this ten times for each arm

Rotation Stretch for Shoulders
For hard-to-reach stretch areas of your shoulder, try the exercise below;
1. Find a stick such as a golf club, yardstick, etc., and hold it in your right hand.
2. Take your left hand and lightly grasp the other end of the stick. Begin gently pulling with your left until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulder.
3. Repeat this by 30 seconds on 30 seconds off on each side 2-3 times.

For an external rotation, push the stick gently until your feel a stretch in the back of your shoulder.

Stretches for Back Pain

Below is our top list for relieving pain in the upper, middle, and lower back.

Overhead arch
1. Begin seated or standing facing forward.
2. Stretch your arms above your head and lean to the right. Hold this for 10 seconds and return to neutral.
3. Repeat the same motion on the left side.
4. Repeat this 3-5 times on each side.

Cat-Cow Pose
1. Start on all fours with your hands below your shoulders and knees below the hips.
2. Slowly begin arching your back upwards, dropping your head. Hold this for 2-3 seconds and release.
3. Return to the starting table pose.
4. Begin to arch your back backward and push your stomach to the floor, pointing your nose and chin upwards.

Cat Pose Stretch

Child’s Pose
1. Start on all fours again, hands below your shoulders and knees below your hips.
2. Begin sinking back through your hips to rest them on your heels, lay your belly on your thighs and stretch your arms a little further.
3. Focus on breathing and hold this position for 1 minute.

Woman practicing childs pose stretch

Knee to Chest
1. Lie flat on your back, hands, and arms beside you.
2. Keeping your knee of choice bent, pull your knee into your Chest.
3. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
4. Repeat on the other leg.

Stretches for Hip Pain

Below is our top list for relieving pain in your Hips.

External Hip Rotation
1. Sit on the floor with your feet in a butterfly position (bent at the knees with your soles pressed together).
2. Place your hands on your knees and gently push them down towards the floor, applying light pressure. Push until you feel a stretch; you should not experience any discomfort.
3. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, and repeat 5-10 times.

Double Hip Rotation
1. Lie Flat on your back. Bend your knees and bring them to your body with your feet on the floor.
2. Gently rotate your knees to the right, lowering them till they touch the floor. Rotate your head in the opposite direction.
3. Hold this for 20-30 seconds. Return to your original position.
4. Repeat on the opposite side.

Hip and Lower Back
1. Lie flat on your back, bend your knees and lay your feet flat on the floor.
2. Pull both knees into your chest and use your hands to hold them.
3. Breathing deeply, pull your knees a little closer every time you exhale.
4. Hold this for 20-30 seconds.

Young woman hugging knees for stretching

Stretches for Knee Pain

Below is our top list for relieving pain Knee pain.

Heel and Calf Stretch
1. Stand facing a wall.
2. Place both hands flat on the surface and move on foot back as far as you comfortably can. Your toes should be facing forward, and your front foot should be slightly bent.
3. Lean into the stretch.
4. Hold this for 30 seconds. Changes legs and repeats.
5. Do this 2-3 times on each side.

1. Stand next to a wall or use a chair for support. Any surface will do.
2. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, face forward and pick up one of your feet while bending your knee.
3. Grabbing your ankle, gently pull it towards your glutes as comfortably as you can.
4. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
5. Return to the starting position and change the legs.
6. Repeat 2-3 times on each side.

Kinesiologist Amanda will provide you with an effective stretching program and review your current functional capabilities.
(seen here on a recent trip to Italy, where effective stretching was top of mind 😉 )

Amanda, a physiotherapist on holiday thinking about stretching Amanda, a physiotherapist on holiday thinking about stretching

Click here to learn more about the services we offer here at HealthX Physiotherapy Clinic in Langley, B.C. If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone directly, please call us at (604) 532-9005 or fill out a contact form.