10% of the world’s population suffer from back pain at some point. If you’re one of them, you know that you’ll literally try anything to help when you’re suffering!
Yet with so many treatments to choose from, it can be overwhelming (and expensive) to experiment with all the options before finding what’s right for you.
Here at The Good Body we’ve done a little of the hard work for you.
12 Top-rated Products for Relieving Back Pain
We’ve searched the market and put together a list below of the 12 best back pain relief products and remedies:
6 Free Remedies To Help Alleviate Back Pain
Before you start spending money on a ton of different gadgets, there are many simple things that you can do right now to help.
These aren’t miracle cures for back pain, they’re simple daily changes that, combined with other techniques, can play their part in fighting pain.
These six free (or very cheap) things are a great starting point to assist with alleviating pain and something you could try right now.
When you visit a doctor to discuss back pain, you’ll most likely initially get a recommendation of exercises that can help or be instructed to try to exercise more.
Even a simple activity such as a brisk walk has been proven to help improve the effects of back and neck pain.
A study into chronic lower back pain for example, found that with core muscle strengthening work the effects of pain were decreased.
There are a number of exercises and sports recommended for people suffering from back pain, however those suffering are advised to speak to their doctor before starting anything too strenuous.
2. Heat and Cold Therapy
Heat and cold therapy can be achieved easily by things you already have in the home, for example a hot water bottle or by using a bag of frozen peas.
If you’re suffering from an acute injury or swelling, then cold therapy is better. If you’re treating muscle stiffness or chronic pain then heat therapy will be more soothing and effective.
However many medical professionals suggest alternating between hot and cold therapy.
Cryotherapy experts Chiltonic explain how it helps:
Heat and ice can be used together in an alternating pattern to create a “pumping” action in the circulatory system by restricting circulation to reduce swelling and then increasing circulation to a particular area.
They go on to describe the benefits of using both therapies:
This alternation between heat and cold may result in an improved range of motion and expedited pain recovery. This type of therapy is typically used when an injury is at a week or longer maturity, and heat or ice alone has not worked.
3. Staying Hydrated
Dehydration causes many different symptoms and problems within the body, however one of the lesser known impacts of dehydration is back pain.
That’s because the inner parts of the discs within our back consist primarily of water which is used up throughout the day as our spine is put to work.
Then at night our back begins the process of rehydrating for the day ahead, which is why we wake up taller than when we went to bed!
It’s important too to not simply wait for your body to tell you when you’re thirsty, as this means you’re already dehydrated.
Meditating at home is another free tool you have at your disposal to improve your back health.
There are two different approaches, one where you focus on a single mantra and are taught to ignore the feelings of pain you’re experiencing, or a mindful approach where you concentrate on the pain and learn to control it.
There are a number of different techniques online to help you get started.
The best part is you can get started easily for free, by exploring our list of yoga poses for back pain.
Writing in a journal might seem like an odd way to manage the discomfort in your back, but research proves that it can help.
That’s because it makes you more aware of the feelings of anxiety and frustration associated with your pain, and helps you learn new ways to manage your stress responses.
Though there are a range of journals on the market you can buy, including ones specifically focused on mindfulness, a simple notepad will work perfectly.
Take a look at some journal prompts for people with chronic pain to help you get started.
5 of the Most Common Causes of Back Pain
Sometimes finding the right solution for your back pain means working out what caused the pain in the first place.
There are a number of common causes that can be a good place to start, however it’s always essential to speak to a medical professional who will be able to identify the root of the issue.
1. Weekend Activities
Weekend activities are one of the most common causes of back pain.
After a week of relatively sedentary work, people, referred to as ‘weekend warriors’, spend the weekend doing strenuous sporting activities or spend hours doing heavy garden work, tasks that their bodies simply aren’t prepared for, causing back pain and back injuries!
2. Bad Posture
Slouching or not thinking about the way you sit on a daily basis is a common cause of back pain.
Plus bad posture and computer use seem to go hand in hand.
Correcting your posture can have many benefits, and not just for your back!
3. Lack of Exercise
A lack of exercise leads to a lack of flexibility as well as weak muscles throughout the body, causing back pain.
Plus a lack of exercise can often mean you’re carrying extra weight which is putting additional strain on the body, specifically on your spine.
There are some female specific back pain causes such as differences in the pelvic structure and hormonal changes, as well as back pain associated with pregnancy.
Pregnancy can really take its toll on your back, however there are a number of different techniques and treatments you can try to relieve the pressure.
A number of studies have also looked at the psychology of back pain, specifically the impact that stress has on your lower back.
A recent study looked at how mindfulness techniques could be used to alleviate stress in back pain patients with positive results.
Acute vs Chronic Back Pain
Is your pain acute or chronic?
Understanding your pain and finding the right treatment, often starts with understanding whether you’re suffering from acute or chronic back pain.
Acute pain last hours or weeks, it is triggered by an illness or accident and is predictable and relatively easily treated.
Chronic pain lasts months to years, it is caused by a longer term condition such as arthritis and is unpredictable making it difficult to treat.
Back Pain Treatment
As well as so many different products and remedies to choose from, there are also a number of different treatments available for you to consider.
A Physical Therapist could be an option?
In fact, an award winning study in 2015 demonstrated substantial potential for lowered costs and reduced healthcare utilization for patients who received, and adhered to, physical therapy for low back pain.
Physical therapy also has wider benefits for your health that you can read about here.
Considered a Chiropractor?
Over 35 million Americans see a Doctor of Chiropractic each year, so it could be an option worth considering for your back pain.
Choosing the right chiropractor is essential to make sure their approach and experience suits you and your condition.
Research has shown that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of low back pain, not just as a placebo but offering true pain relief.
When you suffer from acute or chronic back pain you have so many remedies and products, as well as a vast array of different treatment options, to choose from.
It can be frustrating and sometimes costly when you’re working out what’s right for you, however only pain sufferers understand that we’ll literally try anything!
Remember to speak to a medical professional, preferably your doctor before trying any of the above products and remedies, not only so they can advise on the safety but also as they may have their own recommendations on what is right for you.
Now you have the lowdown on the best back pain relief products, why not learn a little more about back massagers?
We’ve explored the market and shortlisted the most effective tools out there right now (plus compiled a handy buying guide). You can read the full article here.
Alternatively take a look at some shocking back pain statistics — you might be surprised!
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- Mann, D. (2002). Negative Ions Create Positive Vibes [Online]. WebMD. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/negative-ions-create-positive-vibes [Accessed 12 July 2021]. ↩
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- Apec Water (2021). Is Your Back Pain Caused by Dehydration? [Online]. Available from: https://www.freedrinkingwater.com/water_heal/medical1/1-dehydration-cause-back-pain.htm [Accessed 12 July 2021]. ↩
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (2020). Low Back Pain Fact Sheet [Online]. Available from: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet [Accessed 12 July 2021]. ↩
- Better Health Channel (2020). Computer-related injuries [Online]. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/computer-related-injuries [Accessed 12 July 2021]. ↩
- U.S. Department of Education (2018). A Description of U.S. Adults Who Are Not Digitally Literate [Online]. Available from: https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2018/2018161.pdf [Accessed 12 July 2021]. ↩
- Trust for America’s Health (2020). The State of Obesity 2020: Better Policies for a Healthier America [Online]. Available from: https://www.tfah.org/report-details/state-of-obesity-2020/ [Accessed 12 July 2021]. ↩
- The Good Body (2020). 39 Back Pain Statistics (To Send a Shiver Down Your Spine) [Online]. Available from: https://thegoodbody.com/back-pain-statistics/ [Accessed 12 July 2021]. ↩
- Grichnik, K. and Ferrante, F. (1991). The difference between acute and chronic pain [Online]. National Library of Medicine. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1875958/ [Accessed 12 July 2021]. ↩