When it comes to back pain, research says most adults experience it at one time or another in their lives, and often trips to the doctor for it are unnecessary. Acute back pain typically results from a temporary strain which pulls or stretches a muscle beyond its normal limits. While this type of back pain should diminish over a couple weeks, in that time, it’s the use of aids and helpful equipment which can provide relief, reduce your use of medicine, and get you up and moving like your old self again.
Check out these 5 effective back pain relieving aids for home use today:
Lumbar Support Pillows
Experiencing chronic low back pain? Chances are you’re suffering from your own bad posture habits. Sedentary lifestyles filled with sitting all day at work and then continuing to sit at home while eating, watching TV and browsing facebook take their toll over time. In fact, recent reports link prolonged sitting to early death. Avoiding back pain while continuing to lead a life filled with sitting may seem improbable, and that is precisely where lumbar supports come into play.
Lumbar support pillows offer cushioning and reinforcement for the lumbar spine region (lower back). These aids support the natural inward curvature of the lower back, helping to promote a straighter, more aligned spine while sitting. If you struggle to correct your bad posture habits, a lumbar support may be just the nudge you need at work or when driving to sit up straighter and give your lower back a break.
Massage balls, electric massage pillows, massage sticks . . . the bed and bath stores seem to be overflowing with home massage tools that promise to relieve your back pain fast. The truth is that these tools often do provide some relief when used appropriately, with many offering deep pressure application to sore muscles.
Targeted deep pressure can relieve painful muscle tension, improve blood circulation to vulnerable tissues, and can even help to break up scar tissue. Massage balls can be used individually by placing one against a wall and strategically leaning back against it, while handheld massage tools, for example, are best used by a partner who is willing to rub your back and other sore muscle with them.
Topical back pain relief aids come in a variety of types including ointments, gels, salves, creams, lotions, sprays, and roll-ons. Featuring effective ingredients, many natural like arnica, capsaicin, turmeric, and menthol, back pain relief creams generate temporary relief from sore and achy muscles by reducing inflammation or decreasing the intensity of pain signals.
The 13 best pain relief creams for back pain offer easy application, fast-acting analgesic effects, and they don’t leave greasy, pungent residue behind. Back pain relief creams are best applied after a warm bath and should never be rubbed on open or irritated skin. Some back pain relief creams may interact with certain drugs like blood thinners, so consult a doctor before applying back pain cream if you are being treated for conditions like high blood pressure or heart disease.
You may have heard about TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) units in medical practices like chiropractor’s offices, but you might be wondering exactly what they do. TENS units offer back pain sufferers a pharmacological-free, physiological therapy which aids inflamed and painful muscles with low-voltage electrical currents.
Portable TENS units can actually be utilized in the comfort of your own home, and are easy to assemble and use regularly. Small, adhesive electrodes stick to tense or spasming muscles and connect to wires that are matched to controls that are adjusted to customize stimulation based on your comfort levels. TENS units can help relieve pain, increase blood flow, and offer back pain sufferers the ability to cut back on pain killers and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.
Your stockpile of ice packs and heat pads could be your ultimate weapons to combating chronic back pain which stems from minor injuries and bad posture. Ice therapy can be as simple as laying with an ice pack under your neck or soaking a sore limb in cold water. The icy sensations of this type of therapy help to temporarily constrict blood vessels (which reduces inflammation) as well as numb nerve endings to diminish feelings of pain.
Heat therapy, on the other hand, helps to increase blood flow after ice packs have been applied; this rushes fresh blood and nutrients into suffering tissues and flushes out built-up biological waste products and toxins. Electric heating pads or warm packs which are heated with a quick stint in the microwave can be applied for 10 to 20 minutes at a time and provide warming sensations which overpower pain signals, help loosen joints and make back muscles more pliable.