If back pain is making your life miserable, here are some items that just might make you a little more comfortable during your recuperation. These are ones that work for me, from the inexpensive to the somewhat pricey. Through the years, as my back problems slowly increased, I began collecting anything Spanish-friendly, and I'm glad that I did because they now come in handy. Nowadays I am battling a bad case of sciatica and a herniated lumbar disk, leaving me nearly immobile at times. Ever hopeful in getting better soon, I resort to using a mountain of pain medicines and muscle relaxants, along with all my gadgets. Despite the slow healing process, they all really do help.
The I Joy Massage Chair by Sharper Image
This chair is a powerful massage tool that is truly able to work my back like a real masseuse. It has various settings and a pad to put between your skin and the massage rollers. This softens the massage intensity a little, and when your back is sore, it's best not to let the chair work your back too strictly. When I bought it, my main back problems were less complicated, just pain from moving, that disappeared in a week or so. Now that I've graduated to stronger back problems, this chair is even more useful to me. I use it once a day and only for twenty minutes. If my spine hurts while using the chair, I cut the session short. The doctor told me to do whatever feels good to my back, so it has his ok, as long as I know when to stop. I joys are trusted massage chairs with a history of happy customers. Mine has a cupholder and even an outlet so I can use my laptop as I get my massage. The newer chairs even have hookups for Ipods. They are mid-range in price, there are more expensive chairs out there, but this one has all the settings I need, from thumping, to tapping and more. You can even tell the rollers where to massage, and choose your own manual options yourself, instead of using the automatic ones, which give you a variety of techniques altogether.
Memory Foam is a Wonderful Thing
Instead of buying those expensive full memory foam mattresses, I have a 4-inch slab of memory foam on top of my mattress. It is very comfortable, and molds to my body. I've had the 2-inch mattress topper, as well, and it is also fine. The thicker the memory foam is, the more "locked in" you feel as you lie there. My doctor cave me the OK on memory foam when I asked him. He is not one to gush about anything, so to hear that he likes this is a compliment to the product. I also have a memory foam pillow, and use it to cushion my lumbar area (lower back) as I work. Smokers please note, memory foam is flammable unless they tell you otherwise, so it is best not to smoke while using it. Foam and fire do not mix. The more dense the foam is, the more durable it is. I have medium denseness for my mattress topper, and it keeps its shape just fine. Memory foam can make sleeping much more comfortable, if you have severe back pain. I could never be comfortable when using mattresses alone, but now, I wake up more rested due to better quality sleep.
Hand-held back massagers
The portable massager I use for my lumbar area is called the Accuvibe, and I got it at Sharper Image. It has heat or non-heat settings. I prefer the non-heat mostly, but use the heat setting after using ice on my back (the doctor said to alternate heat and cold on my back). The massage land is long, and reaches most areas of my spine easily. My previous back massager was by Dr.Scholl's, and is ok, but has a less strong massage. It does have a warm heat option without the massage, which is good when I'm dealing with back muscle spasms. It's like a heating pad, but can get hot, so I am careful not to fall sleep with it on my back, to avoid burning my skin.
Throughout the years, I have had a few different wedge pillows but my favorite is one with a memory foam roll at the bottom, that I bought through QVC. It is soft, easy to clean and strong enough to support my back in bed or in my chair as I work. There are also lumbar pillows, disc-shaped pillows to put behind you while sitting. Another good wedge is the kind for under your knees as you sleep. That helps takes pressure off of the spine and help keep it straight when lying down.
Dr.Grosso's Back Relief Belt
This handy little belt is helpful for giving you support in your lower back. It comes with blue gel ice packs, to insert in a hidden pocket in the belt, for ice therapy when needed. The belt is adjusted by easily workable straps and by an air pump on the side. Just pump it to the right tension and then go about your business. It helps take the pressure off as you work or lift. The belt is not for heavy lifting, but is good for basic support in the lumbar area when you need it. With the belt, you get a paperback booklet called, "Guide to a Pain Free Back," by Dr.Grosso. It is loaded with easy-to-understand diagrams and explanations on how to help your back, along with giving brief explanations to common back ailments. It also is full of exercises to strengthen your back muscles.
There are many other aids available, that I have not discovered yet. Find whatever makes your recuperation time more bearable, and use them. The pain killers, muscle relaxants and other meds are the most important part of my therapy at present, but hopefully as time goes on, I will not need to use them as much as I do right now. The whole sciatica pain experience has taught me to stop abusing my back and think twice about how I sit, stand and move. Any items that make life easier are welcomed. Try them, and you may just like them too.