It’s that time again: the season of giving! It can be tough to give gifts that are both thoughtful and useful – no one wants to give something that’s going to get tossed the next day – but if you know the recipient well enough, a product that can help ease their back pain might just hit the spot. While the cause of back pain is different for everyone, we’ve spotlighted some of the top products that patients have said help them to prevent or calm existing back pain in their daily lives. And while you’re browsing, think about how these could help your own back pain, too.
1. Balance ball chair. The average office worker spends 5 hours and 41 minutes sitting each day at his or her desk. According to a recent study from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, sitting for 12 hours per day gives you a 6 percent risk of having a disability, and an extra hour each day may up your likelihood by 3 percent. If used correctly, a balance ball chair can help you be more aware of your posture and help improve your core strength, keeping muscles active instead of passive while you sit.
2. Cold and hot packs. Cold compresses are one of the most effective pain relief treatments available. But rather than simply wrapping ice in a towel, try reusable ice packs – they create less of a mess, and they’re pliable, too, so you can wrap them precisely around the part of the body that hurts. Remember: when applying a cold compress, be sure to wrap it in a towel or other protective barrier to protect the skin. Use ice for the first 48 hours after an injury – particularly if there is swelling — and then switch to heat.
3. Massage. If you’re going this route, it’s best to get a massage from a licensed massage therapist – try a gift certificate or a multi-pack of pre-paid massages so your loved one can go regularly – an electronic substitute can provide some of the benefits of the human touch. A massage chair or other massage device might just be the gift that keeps on giving.
4. Body pillow. While there’s no one perfect sleeping position for everyone, sleeping with a body pillow can ease back pain. Try lying on your side with the pillow between your knees to take pressure off your back and hips. A normal pillow used the same way may help too!
5. Lumbar wrap or back brace. Braces are helpful for strenuous activities, like heavy lifting or strenuous exercising. If you know you’ll be doing heavy lifting, consult your physician on the best type of support for you.
6. Back stretching aids. Sure, you can stretch your back on your own, no matter where you are. But using one of these devices may help you attain a level of relief that’s otherwise unreachable. These relieve back pain due to tight muscles, excessive flexion, and poor spinal alignment – try using them regularly and you could feel a big difference.
7. BOSU balance trainer. Consider the BOSU training device for adding an interesting dimension to your workout. This balance device provides stimulation and training to the spine stabilizers and core muscle group, which is great for those who suffer from chronic back pain.
8. Cervical pillow. These specially designed pillows will cradle the neck at night to help prevent back pain by correctly aligning the spine. As a bonus, they may also help eliminate snoring!
While these products won’t cure your loved ones’ back pain, I hope they will help ease it. Visit our Facebook page for additional suggestions, and let me know what’s worked for you!