By: Michaela O’Connor

This holiday season is in full swing, and so is the search for holiday gifts! Below, the U.S. Pain staff shares some of the items on their holiday wishlists this year.

  1. Percussion massage gun: A massage at home? Handheld, wireless, and powerful enough to relieve some of the tension that builds up each day without requiring a trip to the masseuse.
  2. Puzzles/adult coloring books/board games: It’s no surprise that chronic pain patients have trouble sleeping and are often up at all hours of the night. Concentrating on art projects, puzzles, or board games provides a low-stress, fun activity while distracting from pain.
  3. Heating pads: Heat therapy boosts circulation and easing stiff muscles. A heating pad, blanket, or patch is especially comforting during the winter months.
  4. Comfortable clothes: Itchy, tight, uncomfortable clothes against a hypersensitive body is not ideal. Comfortable, soft clothing, including loungewear, is always needed.
  5. Crockpot or instant pot: Meals that you can set and forget? That is the kind of help we all need. Throwing all the ingredients in one pot and letting it cook for you mean less fatigue, less stress, and is a huge time-saver.
  6. Weighted blanket: Weighted blankets have proven to be beneficial in reducing anxiety, calming restlessness, and promoting sleep.
  7. Epsom salts and a bath pillow: Promoting rest and alleviating sore muscles with an epsom salt bath while resting your head on a bath pillow sounds like an ideal way to end the day.
  8. Subscriptions to streaming services: As many have learned over the past nine months, sometimes unwinding and watching some television is the ultimate form of distraction. A chance to enjoy your favorite show at the click of a button is ideal for anyone especially individuals who may be often stuck in bed due to pain.
  9. E-readers and books: Diving into another person’s story is the ultimate form of distraction therapy. E-readers are light-weight, which is often important for individuals with chronic pain. You can also send books to their e-readers for the holidays. Kindle Unlimited is a monthly subscription service that allows access to over a million books. Audible is also a great choice if they prefer to listen to books. If they prefer nonfiction, Perlego is a subscription service that offers over 500,000 nonfiction books.
  10. CBD creams and oils: CBD derived from hemp plants is legal in all 50 states. It comes in many forms, from gummies to creams. It is a commonly used product to promote relaxation and decrease anxiety, but also may be helpful for chronic pain.

Plus: don’t forget that if you shop on Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase to a charity of your choice (like U.S. Pain Foundation) at no cost to you.

Michaela O’Connor is a U.S. Pain staff member and chronic pain warrior and advocate. In 2013, she was chosen to be a participant in the INvisible Project, which led to her becoming a U.S. Pain Ambassador for the state of California. It was through this role that Michaela became an official part of the U.S. Pain’s team. Michaela graduated from the University of California at Davis in 2009 with a BS in Political Science and a double minor in History and War and Peace Studies. She is the proud aunt to her three nephews and four nieces, with whom she spends most of her free time. Michaela resides in Northern California.