11 Random-Yet-Effective Gadgets That Relieve Back Pain
Unless you’re blessed with an ironclad musculoskeletal system (or you’re under the age of 24), you’ve probably experienced some type of back pain. And if so, you know how much it sucks. Luckily, there are a bunch of nifty gadgets to help you feel better, from giant heating pads you wear over your shoulders like a cape to acupressure mats embedded with hundreds of plastic spikes. Here are 11 to consider.
1. Omron PM500 Max Power Relief TENS Unit
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Intense name aside, it’s really just a device that delivers a small (and safe) electrical current to your muscles, which can help with pain. According to one satisfied customer, “I had a smaller TENS unit that helped but my lower back pain got to the point where it just didn't cut it. This unit is much more powerful and when I put it on my pain was at like level eight, and this really helped. Relief lasted about an hour until I had to turn it back on again, but it’s the best one for at home use that I have tried.”
2. Hyperice Venom Back
The Venom Back device from Hyperice focuses heat and vibration on your core. Since almost all athletic movement involves your core, it’s ideal for easing overall muscle soreness and stiffness in the body. Featuring digital touch screen control, nano-technology heat with three adjustable temperature levels, four vibration pods with variable sequences and more, it’s a high-tech way to start feeling better.
3. The Purple Back Cushion
If you sit at a desk all day and have persistent back pain, you know how important a supportive chair (or chair accessory) can be. Purple’s Back Cushion is great for extra lumbar support: The material is molded to perfectly fit the contour of the lower back, and it includes a cushion cover with a securing strap to keep it in place. For just $39, we’d recommend getting one for your office chair, car chair and anywhere else you sit for long stretches of time.
4. Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL Heating Pad for Back & Neck
Does it look kind of silly? Sure. Does it work? Yep. This heating pad covers your back, neck and shoulders, has four different heat settings, an auto-off safety feature and is machine washable. Says one user, “After using microwavable herb bags for years for back pain I decided to try the back & neck heating pad by pure enrichment. What a joy. It heats my back, shoulders and neck all at the same time. My wife tried it and loves it also. Then our daughter came to visit and tried it and loves it also. It is a great product at a good price. We ended up purchasing six more to give as gifts. I highly recommend this product. You won't be disappointed.”
5. Milemont Memory Foam Pillow
This one’s for folks with neck pain, specifically. Using CertiPUR-US certified premium memory foam, this pillow helps align the spine and relieve pain in your head, neck and shoulders, while retaining shape after regular use. The foam has also been calibrated to provide the right balance of support and comfort, meaning you’ll feel less pain and sleep like a baby.
6. WTHN Acupressure Mat Set
An acupressure mat is a soft, foam mat that’s embedded with hundreds of plastic spikes. It’s intended to be laid on, sat on or walked on for 15 to 30 minutes daily. The mat can be used on different parts of the body, starting from the soles of the feet all the way up to the back of the neck, including the chest, hamstrings, outer thighs and lower back. In addition to relieving back pain, users say it can also help you sleep better.
7. Athletic Works 18 in. x 5.5 in. Hollow Core Foam Roller
Foam rollers are kind of jacks of all trades. Experts don’t know exactly how foam rolling works, but there are a few solid hypotheses. One theory is that self-myofascial release (a fancy way of saying self-massage) uses continuous pressure to break up adhesions or trigger points in the fascia (connective tissue that binds the muscle). Other researchers believe that foam rolling stimulates the central nervous system in a way that makes your brain send signals to “loosen up” the muscles. Either way, it’s an essential tool for loosening up a tight back. If you’re not sure how to use one, here’s a guide for how to start.
8. LiBa Back and Neck Massager
Each therapy node and spike on this massager can be used on every part of the body, from the neck to the feet. Even hard to reach areas—like between the shoulder blades or the mid-back—are easily accessible. Just be sure to read the instructions manual before trying it if you’ve never used a massager like this before.
9. Theragun Elite
Yes, it’s pricey, but this futuristic looking tool is a deep tissue massager designed to relieve muscle tension, soreness and pain, and accelerate muscle activation and repair. Basically, it’s every athlete’s dream—professional or recreational.
10. Teeter EP-560 Ltd. Inversion Table with Back Pain Relief DVD
Inversion therapy is the process of seeking therapeutic benefits from hanging by the legs, ankles, or feet in an inverted angle or entirely upside down. It can help with back pain by taking the weight off the discs and nerves in your spine, as well as stretching the muscles in your lower back.
11. Wahl Deep Tissue Handheld Massager
This handheld massager provides all-around and targeted muscle relief, even deep down, to speed healing or fitness recovery. According to one user, “I have been having knots in my back and this massager relaxed and relieved muscle tightness from the knots. After trying it for a couple days on my back my knots were gone! I love that it comes with other attachments to use on other parts of my body too. It is honestly the best muscle massager I have tried.” Just note that this is a powerful percussion massager and should not be used on the face, head or upper neck areas.