Updated: Sep 19
80-90% of people have some kind of back or neck pain issue and not everyone wants or needs to have surgery. There are some of my most commonly recommended items you can gift a loved one or yourself! They might not be a cure-all but they will surely help ease a flare-up or help avoid one altogether with regular use.
#1 Tens Unit
This is a super portable device that is great for relaxing tense muscles during a flare-up. It can also be useful in easing sciatica numbness and tingling. For me personally, I rely on this device for any long car drives, so that I can walk and have some fun when I arrive. These can be used as needed and are rechargeable. Very affordable at under $40 and mine has lasted me at least 3-4 years which makes it a great investment.
CBD is very common nowadays especially with states allowing more cannabis products legally. These topicals have no THC so there is no risk of getting high or adverse effects on drug tests. Topical pain relief you can apply on any area whenever you need it! This is the brand that I use in the office. https://lddy.no/1tni Use Code BetterWellnessPT at check out!
I use the massage oil during most in-person hands-on treatments and just adds an extra layer of pain relief. The 200mg salve is even better for at-home use and helps you manage.
Blue Ridge Hemp Co has a ton of options for you to check out. Personally, I enjoy the tea as well, especially at nighttime.
#3 Self Massage Tools
If you have already tried a foam roller and tennis ball near your shoulder blades and are never quite able to get to that point that is causing the trouble. It may be time to up your game and get on the back roller wheel trend. I just got myself one with these foam balls that fit right those deep knots. A great way to relax after logging long hours sitting at a computer or glued to your phone. Using gravity to counteract a hunched forward flexed posture and you may be able to get a nice relaxing crack to release even more tension. Watch the video below to see how I used this wheel and a few other recommended Items. You can see the full list of Back Pain Relief Tools.
During Fall 2021 Infrared sauna blanket was added to my self-care routine. The infrared heat penetrates deeper than the surface layer making it a great way to relax deeper tension knots. Next after sciatica, upper back and neck are the most common complaints likely from sitting staring at our screens, hating what we are doing and being stressed out to the max. While I fully believe these muscles need to be engaged and strengthened, we also can all benefit from some mindful downtime to recharge. These portable devices are a bit pricey but it's been a great addition to some of my in-person treatments as well as a great de-stressor for me.
After a recent bout of travel that would have normally flared up my knots and sciatica, I was shocked to have none of my typical symptoms. During the trip to learn more about body sculpting and post-plastic surgery care, I had the benefit of laying and sitting on an acupressure mat and realized it may be part of the reason for my lack of back pain issues on returning home. They look a bit like a torture device but are barely noticeable when you lay still on them. Since that trip, I will sit and watch TV at night while relaxing on one when my back is acting up and the results have continued. It's a great affordable self-care option to grab for home or office.
#6 Ice Pack
Ice is best for reducing inflammation from sudden tweaks. Heat is what you use when there is a constant knot and arthritis-type issue. However, ice will help better with a new injury and heading off the chronic flareups. There has been several times where people tell me there are using heat and ice or ice and then heat and after telling them to drop the heat and do ice only; they have reported feeling better. While ice may not be as comforting as heat, it is great for reducing inflammation. Keep the pack on until you are numb and then let the body warm back up naturally. Be careful if you have altered sensation for some reason. Ice can burn your skin just like heat, so wear a thin shirt or sheet between you and the ice.
Movement is key. Avoid painful movements and overdoing it while you are in a painful flare-up but you absolutely should keep moving. I'm sure you've heard the phase, "Motion is Lotion." If you can't run; walk. If you can't walk, do isometric squeeze and release motions. Slowly start to work back into more activity as your pain eases. For more personalized advice, schedule a call.
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