The holidays are here and it is time to start shopping for gifts for your friends and family. According to recent studies, 51% of people are stressed about getting or giving gifts. It can be hard to know what to buy for people and sometimes we place too much pressure on ourselves to find that “perfect” gift. But don’t stress! We have you covered!
80% of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives so there is a pretty good chance that someone you care about is suffering (or will suffer) from low back pain. Low back pain is a debilitating condition that can cause people to miss out on important events (like the holidays!) as well as being the number one reason for missed work days. So why not find the perfect low back pain prevention gift and make sure that your loved one never has to miss another special moment?
Many of our blogs and articles look at the different types of products and technologies that are emerging to treat lower back pain, so feel free to check out the links around the effectiveness of certain types of treatments. We don’t get any fees or kickbacks for our recommendations and these are just suggestions, not necessarily endorsements of particular products.
We are looking at top products with well researched types of treatments, and seeing which products might be offering the best deals for you this holiday season. The list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to let us know if you find your own awesome deals or if there is a product that you love and think we should add to the list!
Foam Rollers For Low Back Pain
Foam rollers are probably the most well-known tools used for myofascial release.
You may see foam rollers at gyms and physical therapy sessions used for injury prevention, pain relief and faster recovery. Foam rollers also promote long-term healing by stimulating circulation and tissue repair.
While releasing trigger points in your lower back promotes relaxation and can even promote better hormone balance, a foam roller does require more physical exertion compared to a product like a massage chair. That said, it’s only recommended for those who are physically fit.
There are thousands of different foam rollers on the market and things like texture and density really just come down to personal preference rather than any sort of gold standard. Here are some of the most popular foam rollers of 2022.
Trigger Point Performance GRID Foam Roller
$36.95 Available from REI
The Trigger Point Performance GRID foam roller soothes tight muscles and promotes healing blood flow. Its firm, 3D surface pattern offers muscle repair assistance when you're training hard. It provides benefits such as decreased muscle and joint pain, increased circulation and flexibility, and improved range-of-motion. It is lightweight and easy to take with you when you are traveling.
Reviews of this product use words like "excellent quality", "great support" and "very comfortable". In fact out of 85 reviews there was only a single one star review and their only complaint was that it seemed similar to ones they had purchased before at a lower price. This product may be available from other retailers at a cheaper price so you might want to shop around to make the most of your budget.
Percussion therapy helps relieve pain and boost recovery. Since percussion therapy is utilized to aggressively work and treat deep-tissue muscles, it helps to increase blood circulation and oxygen distribution to various parts of your body, especially on the local topical area.
Percussion therapy can help relax tight muscles, break up scar tissue and adhesions, and minimize muscle soreness and tension. A small study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found percussive therapy to be as effective as massage in preventing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
$499 - Available from Therabody.com and other well known retailers. (Note that this product was previously selling for $599 so there has been a big price drop!)
The Theragun Pro provides deep muscle treatment with lasting durability and many additional features. Theragun offers a variety of products to fit your needs and budget. Their products are loved by consumers and backed by many famous entrepreneurs and sports personalities. The Theragun enhances muscle recovery, helps release stress and tension, and soothes discomfort. It has professional-grade durability with an industry-leading 2-year warranty.
While the overall qualities of warmth and heat have long been associated with comfort and relaxation, heat therapy goes a step further and can provide both pain relief and healing benefits for many types of lower back pain.
In addition, heat therapy for lower back pain - in the form of heating pads, heat wraps, hot baths, warm gel packs, etc. - is both inexpensive and easy to do.
Heat therapy dilates the blood vessels of the muscles surrounding the lumbar spine. This process increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, helping to heal the damaged tissue.
Heat stimulates the sensory receptors in the skin, which means that applying heat to the lower back will decrease transmissions of pain signals to the brain and partially relieve the discomfort.
Heat application facilitates stretching the soft tissues around the spine, including muscles, connective tissue, and adhesions. Consequently, with heat therapy, there will be a decrease in stiffness as well as injury, with an increase in flexibility and overall feeling of comfort. Flexibility is very important for a healthy back.
Hyperice Venom Back
Was $249.99 - now only $169! - Available from Hyperice.com
The Hyperice Venom Back heat device helps to loosen and relax tight and sore muscles. The convenience of the device means that you can have a heated massage at home, or on the go. The Nano-technology provides comforting heat with adjustable temperature levels, as well as 4 different massage vibration levels.
This product can be used at home, at work, or when traveling. The Hyperice Venom Back ensures that your muscles stay warm and supple at the end of a long day and it can help revive your muscles and ensure a great night's sleep.
Massage improves blood circulation, which aids in the recovery of muscle soreness from physical activity. Massage helps to relax your muscles which in turn helps improve your range of motion. Massage therapy is a great way to help with insomnia, too, as tension from the muscles is released and circulation is improved. Massage therapy also leads to increased levels of endorphins (the feel good hormones) in your body, leading to improved feelings of wellbeing and happiness.
Massage therapy is a great tool for relieving the pain associated with many low back issues. In low back strains and sprains, when the correct muscles are targeted using massage therapy, the source of pain is addressed, tension is released, and faster relief is often experienced.
Getting regular massages can be time consuming and expensive so we found a great tool that you can use in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price.
Resteck Back And Neck Massager
$69.99 - Available From Walmart and Amazon
With almost 42,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.5 star rating, reviews have left comments such as:
- "It's wonderful for neck, upper and lower back, shoulders, arms, buttocks, legs and feet as well. It's amazing."
- "The Resteck massager is fantastic. I purchased it a month ago & have used it almost everyday."
- "You control exactly where it applies pressure and how much pressure it applies, so unlike human massage therapists, it doesn't move off the spot you need worked, doesn't push too hard or too soft, and doesn't get tired from deep kneading."
Stress Relief/ Wearables
According to The American Institute of Stress, about 33 percent of people report feeling extreme stress. When the body is stressed, muscles tense up. Muscle tension is almost a reflex reaction to stress—the body's way of guarding against injury and pain. With sudden onset stress, the muscles tense up all at once, and then release their tension when the stress passes. This can increase your chances of experiencing low back pain or injuring your back.
Apollo Neuro Stress Relief Device
$ 399 - Available from Apolloneuro.com
Apollo Neuro is scientifically sound, wearable touch therapy that you wear on your ankle or wrist. Apollo's silent, soothing vibrations speak to your nervous system, telling you that you're safe and in control. Like a workout for your nervous system, consistency is key. The more you use it, the better it works.
Apollo Neuroscience was born from research at the University of Pittsburgh. Drs. David Rabin MD, PhD and Ronald D. Siegel, PhD worked together at the Program in Cognitive Affective Neuroscience to develop and scientifically prove out the Apollo technology.
Together, they discovered that certain combinations of low frequency inaudible sound waves (vibration that you can feel, but can’t hear) can safely and reliably change how we feel through our sense of touch, and that we can measure those physiological changes in near real time.
In the wise words of the Buddha, "Health is the greatest gift." Low back pain can be debilitating and can cause people to want to stay home and hide out on the couch instead of being with the people they care about and doing things that they love.
It has been a stressful year and may people are on a tight budget this holiday season. If you know someone who suffers from low back pain, why not give something that they can really use this Christmas, and that will bring them benefits they may never have dreamed about. For more ideas see our blog "30 Thoughtful Gifts For Friends And Family With Low Back Pain". Prices may have changed since publication.