Individuals with neck and back pain should consider adding a few pain-relieving therapeutic tools to the holiday wish list. Spine specialists/experts have some tools for their patients and others who are dealing with back and neck pain. Looking at various points, these therapeutic tools offer the gift of helping to reduce neck and back pain, when unable to see a chiropractor or physical therapist.
Foam rolling is effective for different types of aches and pains, especially backaches. Foam rolling benefits include:
- Releasing muscle knots and tension
- Reduces inflammation
- Decreases pain
- Improves range of motion
- Returns flexibility
A wedge pillow for the back is a necessity. A wedge pillow removes the stress from the spine and neck when lying down. Flipped around will take the tension off the legs also bringing back pain relief.
Deep Percussive Massager
Percussive massagers can provide a deep massage to various areas of the body especially the lower back. There are a variety of brands available with different levels of technology. However, careful use of these instruments must be exercised. This is because the massage can be intense and can exacerbate or cause further injury, and individuals can develop a tolerance making the massage no longer effective.
If sitting at a desk throughout the day or working from home a proper seat cushion is mandatory. Many individuals who sit the majority of their day utilize a combination cushion that includes the seat cushion with lower back support. Individual cushions are great because they can be moved easily and adjusted to fit where needed. Therapeutic seat cushions come with various features available, here are a few to keep in mind. Memory foam and air cells offer the most pressure relief. If there is tailbone pain, focus on a seat cushion with the tailbone cut out for extra relief. An office chair with these features should also be considered.
Inversion tables are available at reasonable prices, starting around $100. Used correctly this therapeutic tool can successfully help relieve back pain. Inversion tables and cervical traction provide decompression and postural alignment for the spine helping with pain relief. These devices offer gentle decompression through the angle used. Wider angles or full inversion provides more decompression on the back. Individual spinal needs should be discussed with a chiropractor, physical therapist, or physician before using this therapeutic tool.
Pain Patches and Topical Agents
Pain-relieving patches like Lidocaine, IcyHot, and Salonpas patches are widely recommended for tight and sore areas of the body.
Sitting Standing Desk
A sitting and standing desk can be highly beneficial to back pain. In addition to burning off bonus calories throughout the day, Changing positions and postures throughout the day are recommended. This is to keep the muscles, ligaments, tendons moving, and not in a static position for too long. Changing every 20 to 30 minutes is the recommended time. Sitting and standing desks can provide positional changes that will help with posture, core stability, and circulation. This will help reduce and alleviate pain in the low back, neck, and shoulders. However, the desk needs to be stable and adjusted to the proper height.
Lower Back Sitting Support
These therapeutic tools help reinforce the low back region when seated. Most of us start to slouch forward with the head and shoulders hunched forward after some time at the computer. This strains the whole body, specifically the low back. Lower back supports can help maintain proper alignment of the spine when seated.
Knee, Thigh, Pelvis Pillow
These pillows have different names but are used in the same way. This is a pillow that can be placed between the legs while sleeping takes the pressure off the pelvis and spine. These types of pillows are great for individuals that sleep on their side. This is because the top leg often shifts down, leading to increased stress on the hips and low back. These pillows help keep the legs aligned during sleep relieving pressure on the low back.
How To Self-Care for Back Pain Books
There are a variety of books that offer tips, and therapies for self-care. These products are not a cure-all. They are intended to help in combination with proper treatment, especially for certain spinal conditions. If pain is limiting daily function, consult a chiropractor, physical therapist, or physician about using the above therapeutic tools.
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Furlan, Andrea D et al. “Massage for low-back pain.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews,9 CD001929. 1 Sep. 2015, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001929.pub3
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