If back pain is making your life miserable, here are some things that can make you feel a little more comfortable during your recovery. These are the ones that work for me, from inexpensive to somewhat expensive. Over the years, as my back problems slowly increased, I started collecting anything that would support the spine, and I’m glad I did because they are useful now. Today I am battling a severe case of sciatica and a herniated lumbar disc, rendering me almost immobile at times. Always hoping to get better soon, I resort to using a mountain of pain relievers and muscle relaxants, along with all my devices. Despite the slow healing process, everyone really helps.

Sharper Image’s I Joy massage chair

This chair is a powerful massage tool that can really work my back like a real masseuse. It has various settings and a pad to place between the skin and the massage rollers. This softens the intensity of the massage a bit, and when your back hurts, it is best not to let the chair work your back too hard. When I bought it, my main back problems were less complicated, just pain when moving it, which disappeared in a week or so. Now that I have graduated with 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 shorten the session. The doctor told me to do whatever feels good on my back, so it’s okay, as long as you know when to stop. I joys are trusted massage chairs with a history of satisfied customers. Mine has a cup holder and even a power outlet so I can use my laptop while getting my massage. The newer chairs even have iPod docks. They are mid-priced, there are more expensive chairs, but this one has all the settings I need, from bumps, bumps, and more. You can even tell the rollers where to massage and choose your own manual options yourself, rather than using the automatic ones, which give you a variety of techniques in total.

Memory foam is a wonderful thing

Instead of buying those expensive full memory foam mattresses, I have a 4-inch memory foam slab on top of my mattress. It is very comfortable and conforms to my body. I have also had the 2 inch mattress topper, and it is fine too. The thicker the memory foam, the more “locked in” it will feel while lying there. My doctor gave me the go-ahead for memory foam when I asked. He’s not one to get excited about anything, so hearing that he likes this is a compliment to the product. I also have a memory foam pillow and use it to cushion my lower back (lower back) while I work. Smokers, please note that memory foam is flammable unless instructed otherwise, so it is best not to smoke while using it. Foam and fire don’t mix. The denser the foam, the more durable it is. I have a medium density for the mattress topper and it holds its shape very well. Memory foam can make sleeping much more comfortable if you have severe back pain. I could never feel comfortable using mattresses alone, but now I wake up more rested due to better quality of sleep.

Hand-held back massagers

The portable massager that I use for my lower back is called Accuvibe and I got it from Sharper Image. It has heat or no heat settings. I prefer heating without heat mostly, but use the heat setting after using ice on my back (the doctor said to alternate hot and cold on my back). The massage wand is long and easily reaches most areas of my spine. My previous back massager was from Dr. Scholl’s and it is fine, but has a less strong massage. It has a handy heat option without the massage, which is good when I’m dealing with back muscle spasms. It’s like a heating pad, but it can get hot, so I’m careful not to fall asleep with it on my back, to avoid burning my skin.

Wedge pillows

Over the years, I’ve had a few different wedge pillows, but my favorite is one with a memory foam roll on the bottom, which I purchased through QVC. It’s soft, easy to clean, and strong enough to support my back in bed or in my chair while I work. There are also lumbar pillows, disc shaped pillows to place behind you while sitting. Another good wedge is the one worn below the knees while sleeping. This helps take pressure off your spine and helps keep it straight when you are lying down.

Dr. Grosso Back Relief Belt

This handy little belt is useful to support your lower back. Comes with blue gel ice packs, to insert into a hidden belt pocket, for ice therapy when needed. The belt is adjusted by easily manageable straps and by an air pump on the side. Just pump at the correct tension and then get on with your business. Helps relieve pressure while working or lifting. The belt is not for lifting heavy objects, but it is good for basic lower back support when you need it. With the belt, you receive a pocket booklet called “Guide to a Pain-Free Back” by Dr. Grosso. It’s packed with easy-to-understand diagrams and explanations on how to help your back, as well as giving brief explanations on common back ailments. It is also packed with exercises to strengthen your back muscles.

There are many other aids available that I have yet to discover. Find what makes your recovery time easier and use it. Pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and other medications are the most important part of my therapy today, but I hope that as time goes on, I won’t need to use them as much as I do now. The whole experience of sciatica pain has taught me to stop abusing my back and think twice about how I feel, stand up and move. All elements that make life easier are welcome. Give them a try and you might like them too.

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