Best products for back pain relief, from body pillows to acupressure mats

Jennifer E. Engen
I

t will come as no surprise to anyone who has had to pivot their work set-up from the office to home that in the last few years, there have been an increase in reports of pain, specifically back pain.

Desk-based working, poor posture, weighted exercises or lumpy mattresses; there are many lifestyle factors that lead to back problems. According to a report, a whopping eight million people in the UK suffer daily with chronic pain (lasting 12 weeks or more), and almost 20 million are in pain at least once a day. But that need not be the case.

How do you prevent back pain?

Statistics show that 470,000 workers in the UK suffered from musculoskeletal disorders in the past year which could be due to their office-based jobs. Physiotherapist and creator of moovlite, Jeannie Di Bon recommends moving at least every 45 minutes (that’s at least 10 times in an 8-hour working day). She explains, “The body loves to move. But if we sit for many hours without the opportunity to move around or stretch regularly, our tissue becomes dehydrated. This dehydration causes tissues to stick together and makes us feel stiff. Prolonged stiffness can lead to pain.”

Jeannie shares the exercises you can do while sitting at your desk:

  1. Rolling the foot under your desk: use a tennis or spikey ball to keep circulation going.
  2. Calf pumps: rotate your ankles in both directions one leg at a time. This will keep the calf muscles working, which prevents things like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) blood clots from sitting too much.
  3. The spine can get tight and stiff from being fixed in one position. Whilst sitting on the chair, place your left hand on your right thigh, gently rotating the spine to the right, looking over your right shoulder to also stretch the neck. Repeat the other way.
  4. Whilst sitting on your chair: let your spine flex to the left, the left arm slides down the side of the chair. Keep the pelvis heavy and balanced. Use the weight of the pelvis to lift the spine back up and repeat the other side.
  5. Standing: hold onto the back of your chair and walk on the spot to use the calf muscles. Lift both heels and then slowly lower one heel down. Then swap – so you are raising one heel at the time, alternating feet.

How do you treat back pain?

Dr. Naomi Newman-Beinart (PhD), Chartered Psychologist, and chronic pain expert explains, “The quick-fix solution is usually pain medication, and for some people, pain meds can work quite well. Over-the-counter or prescription pain meds tend to work most effectively for acute pain, like paracetamol or ibuprofen for a headache, or codeine for post-surgical pain. But pain meds don’t always work and can cause unpleasant side effects.”

It’s also not an ideal long term solution. Always consult your GP for a scan before taking any action. They may refer you to a physio or an osteopath but it is worth seeing your doctor first incase it is something more serious.

You can also make simple switches to your routine or introduce new tech to ease or prevent further back pain.

See our edit below.

MOXTOYU Pregnancy Pillow

Amazon

Don’t let the name fool you, this pillow is not only for those expecting. It is ergonomically designed to support your body as you sleep. The multi-tasking U-shaped design can prop you up while you’re reading or watching TV in bed, separate your legs to promote better hip alignment and stop uncomfortable draughts coming at your back. The cosy piece also just ups the comfort levels. It is crafted entirely from cotton and has a removable, machine washable velvet cover.

FLEXISPOT Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk

Amazon

This may be a standing desk but that doesn’t for one minute mean that you need to stand all day. In fact, it’s all about balance. As we referenced in the intro, the ideal is to alternate between sitting and standing which can alleviate back problems as well as encourage more healthy practices. Luckily, this model is adjustable so you can switch between different height settings throughout the day. It also offers a roomy set-up on the table-top with enough surface area for a monitor, laptop and even a plant or too. There are four sizes available to suit your space.

Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair

John Lewis

When it comes to a full working day of sitting and an adjustable standing desk isn’t for you, it is really worth investing in the right office chair. If you want to safeguard your poise and posture, the average dining chair won’t cut it.

Typically, we sit for the equivalent of 18 years of our lives so the furniture that you use is vitally important. Herman Miller proves you don’t need to sacrifice style for function with chairs that will look good but also play a key role in keep your spine in its best condition. It is ergonomic and built to stop you slumping with an innovative simultaneous tilt that is more responsive for your lower back.

Bed of Nails Acupressure Mat

Bed of Nails

The original bed of nails was designed with real nails pointing upwards from a piece of wood. When distributed just right, they would not puncture the skin when pressure was applied. It was used as part of a magic trick as well as mediation in Asia with one of the key benefits being relief from back pain.

Brought in line with the modern day, the acupressure mat has been reinvented in a totally safe way in order to alleviates aches as well as reduce stresses and prevent sleeplessness. The 8,800 non-toxic plastic spikes increase blood flow and release endorphins in a similar way to acupuncture needles.

MedTerra Immune Boost CBD Oil

MedTerra

Dr. Naomi Newman-Beinart (PhD), Chartered Psychologist, and chronic pain expert explains that “CBD can be a natural solution to help to reduce pain across a number of conditions, including MS, fibromyalgia, arthritis, headaches and back pain” – and so may be a better solution that regular pain medication. It is also said to reduce anxiety and people noted improved sleep.

Dr. Newman-Beinart explains how this works: “It is thought that CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) leading to reduced inflammation, which in turn may relieve pain. The ECS does this by releasing natural endocannabinoids, or neurotransmitters, into the body to restore balance when a health issue develops. They communicate with your body by attaching to the natural cannabinoid receptors on your cells.”

She also stresses the importance of talking to your GP first before you start taking CBD if you are already on medication for your pain.

This oil from MedTerra is naturally formulated and is made up of Elderberry, Echinacea, Vitamin C, Ginger Root, Ashwagandha, Reishi Mushroom and Lemon Balm to give your body and specifically your immune system a much-welcomed boost.

Find more CBD products here.

CBD Muscle Balm

CBII

When stubborn twinges occur, this topical balm treatment can ease tension with its soothing formulation. It contains CBD as well as the pampering aromas of lavender and eucalyptus. Rub it directly on the areas of stress to make the most of the anti-inflammatory properties.

Therabody PowerDot 2.0 Uno Smart Muscle Stimulator

Therabody

Spearheading the percussive massage movement, Therabody is constantly innovating to bring you less pain whether it’s down to menstruation cramps, exercise or more.

The PowerDot is a smart electrical stimulation device that works through Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). This method suppresses the signal going to the brain that you are in pain and instead encourages the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones with no side effects.

There are two pad options; rectangular and round configuration and butterfly pad and the intensity and duration can be set to your preference. It’s highly portable so can be slipped into your hand or gym bag for on-the-go pain relief.

techBAR Lumbar Traction Device

techBAR

Pain relief, proper spinal alignment and decompressed joints are some of the benefits you may hope to experience with this Lumbar Traction Device. The handy piece of tech delivery vibration massage therapy on your lower back as well as two additional places that you can choose by placing the EMS pads. As well as massage, there’s the setting for dynamic stretching, and thermal therapy which you can set between 45 and 65 degrees.

Back Pain Help Posture Hero

The idea of wearing a brace may not seem appealing to all but for those looking to improve their posture, this is great place to start. This is one of the best posture correctors on the market, designed by Harley Street’s London Spine Clinic and adaptable for a variety of body shapes. The main central panel lies flush against your spine to keep it aligned, while the hypoallergenic straps draw your shoulders to the right place.

Nectar Sleep Memory Foam Mattress

Nectar

Even considering the sheer amount of time that we spend in slumber, it doesn’t always occur to people that their mattress may need an upgrade. Replace your lumpy old model with a brand spanking memory foam alternative – it’s is a good way to go if you’re looking to reduce aches and pains at your back and spine. In Nectar’s option, there are three layers designed specifically to enhance your comfort and reduce pressure on the body as you doze by naturally adapting to the shape of your body and realigning.

If you’re not yet ready to take the full foam plunge or want something slightly more breathable, the hybrid model combines foam with a layer of open coil pocket springs as well as 1600 individually encapsulated micro-springs.

FLUX undies The Body Hot Water Bottle

FLUX

The brand may be best known for its reusable period pants, but it hasn’t stopped there. FLUX is also helping to soothe cramps and pains whether they are caused by your menstrual cycle or not through a good old fashioned hot water bottle. Instead of having to hold it in place, which isn’t always easy for back pain, this product wraps around your body with an extra-long design.

It is crafted in a soft faux fur material that will keep you comfy, while the gentle heat relaxes the muscle and boosts circulation. You can either fill with hot water or cold. Place it in the freezer for cooling effects.

Love Life Supplements Joint Support with Levagen

Amazon

The ingredient to highlight here is Levagen, a form of Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) that has becoming recognised in academic circles as a natural, efficacious anti-inflammatory agent and pain killer. It is already used by athletes to aid in muscle recovery and can work for nerve pain, back pain, mild osteoarthritis, endometriosis and more. It works in a similar way to CBD as mentioned above through the body’s ECS system.

This supplement is great for joint pain for example shoulder injuries or arthritic symptoms.

https://www.standard.co.uk/shopping/esbest/health-fitness/best-products-for-back-pain-relief-b992444.html

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