Let’s face it, finding the perfect Christmas gift is never easy. And this can be especially true when shopping for people who live with chronic pain. Chronic conditions are often misunderstood, and as a result, those who suffer from them can often feel the same way. A thoughtful gift can not only help relieve pain and cheer them up but can also show them how much you care.
In past years, we’ve shared our ideas for what the best Christmas gifts for people with chronic pain are. This year, however, we asked members of our brand new Pain Resource Community what they thought would be a perfect Christmas gift for other spoonies. What’s especially great about this list is that it was created by people who live with chronic pain. So, if some of these gift ideas don’t seem like something you would want, they could be perfect for someone you know.
With that said, here’s our list of the four best Christmas gifts for people with chronic pain.
How To Find the Best Christmas Gift for People With Chronic Pain
For people with chronic pain, a gift that truly helps relieve or cope with their pain is the most important part of any Christmas gift. What may seem like a cute or a fun gift to you, may not exactly work for someone with a chronic condition.
For example, a new pair of heels may be exactly what you want this Christmas, but for someone with arthritis, wearing shoes like high heels can intensify their pain. On a similar note, a weighted blanket may not seem like the most exciting gift to you, but for someone with anxiety, a weighted blanket can be life-changing.
The thing to keep in mind when finding the best Christmas gift for someone with chronic pain is comfort. Comfort isn’t usually a word we think of when we think of chronic pain, but something that can help bring even the slightest bit of comfort to a person living with chronic pain is a worthy gift. Comfort can take many forms. Chronic pain is not just a physical ailment; it can be invisible too. Gifts that can help reduce stress, anxiety, migraines, or other invisible illness are just as important as those that provide physical comfort.
#1 Best Gift for People With Chronic Pain: Heated Blanket
Perfect for the colder winter months, an electric blanket ranked number one on our list of the top four best Christmas gifts for people with chronic pain. Heated blankets offer several benefits for those living with chronic conditions.
Heat increases your blood flow and allows your muscles to relax. This can help relieve pain without the need for medication or other treatments while providing all the same comfort as a normal blanket. Heated blankets have also been shown to help with sleep quality, which can be a big deal for people with painsomnia or fibromyalgia.
Additionally, several conditions can cause someone to be frequently cold. Anemia, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and atherosclerosis are all known to cause someone to be cold more often than others. A heated blanket can not only help with these feelings of cold but can also help improve circulation.
One member of our online community shared their enthusiasm over receiving an electric blanket as a gift, sharing, “I personally couldn’t live without my heating blanket. It is always a comfort to calm my body when getting into bed with very bad pain symptoms.”
For a sure-fire gift for a loved one with chronic pain, especially those in colder climates, a heated blanket is the way to go. Our community members all agreed that a reliable, name-brand blanket went a long way.
As previously mentioned, comfort isn’t always physical. Oftentimes, people who live with chronic pain feel misunderstood, especially when their condition is rare or not fully understood. One of the most important things to think about when finding the best Christmas gifts for people with chronic pain is what that gift brings them. Proving a loved one with a way to read multiple books at once can help them learn about new treatments, medications, or new information about their condition.
Another reason why an e-reader can be a great gift for someone with chronic pain is the ease of reading they provide. Having an e-reader removes the need to travel to a book store or a library. This can be extremely helpful, as traveling isn’t always an option for someone with a chronic condition. It also helps those with eye trouble or vision problems, as they can increase text size and zoom in on images.
If you’re getting an e-reader for someone who may not be tech-savvy, not to worry. You can easily pre-load books onto an e-reader before gifting them. The most popular e-readers suggested by our online community members were the Amazon Kindle, Kobo Clara, and the Kobo Libra 2.
#3: Handheld Massage Device
Coming in at number three on our list of the four best Christmas gifts for people with chronic pain is a handheld massage device. Often referred to as a massage gun, these devices have become all the rage over the last few years.
Massage guns deliver what is known as percussion massage therapy deep into the muscle tissue, loosening knots and promoting relaxation. While this type of device is typically used in the sports recovery world, they have shown to be extremely effective for people with chronic pain conditions.
One of the primary benefits of a massage gun is its ability to help with muscle pain. By reducing muscle tension and fluid deep in the muscles, a massage gun can help with anything from chronic back pain to foot pain caused by arthritis.
There are many major brands and retailers that carry massage guns, each with its claims and uses. When looking for the right one for someone with chronic pain, consider things like ease of use, size, and battery life.
By far, the most common cause of chronic pain is lower back pain. Often referred to as LBP, lower back pain affects nearly 25% (nearly 83 million) of the United States population. Chronic low back pain can be caused by many factors including posture, herniated discs, lifting incorrectly, or medical conditions such as scoliosis or osteoarthritis.
For people with low back pain, products like a back and spine roller can help improve their quality of life while avoiding costly trips to a physical therapist or a chiropractor. A back-roller is a firm roller wheel designed to relieve back pain and tension and is an FDA-registered medical device.
These products put pressure on the muscles surrounding the spine. In doing so, the muscles are stretched and strengthened, a process known as myofascial release. Other benefits of back rollers include increasing range of motion, reducing scar tissue, and reducing inflammation.
While finding the right gift for a loved one can be difficult, we hope that our list of the top four gifts for people with chronic pain can help you find the right holiday gift for your loved ones.
What Are You Hoping to Get for the Holidays This Year?
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Being a chronic pain sufferer, you wrote a great article and summed it up nicely!
Very good ideas for the holidays.