According to a study, lower back pain is the chief cause of disability worldwide and the second most common reason for a doctor’s visit. It is estimated that as much as 80% of the US population will have experienced back pain at some point in their lives.
Considering the frequency of such incidence, it is no surprise then that various types of lower back pain relief products have surfaced.
Lower back pain is caused by a torn muscle or ligament in the lumbar area or that arc on your lower back. It can also be caused by a compression or damage on any of the five lumbar discs.
While an easy way out of the pain is to pop some pain killers, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatory drugs, it is not always advisable for these can damage your liver or kidneys.
Thankfully, some products can address the problem without causing another in the process. In fact, some of these lower back pain relief products may even set you on a course to finally getting a permanent solution to your back problems.
How to Choose the Best Lower Back Pain Relief Products
When you’re suffering from chronic and debilitating lower back pain, it is tempting to try just about anything out there but doing so though can be counter-productive or even dangerous. When choosing lower back pain relief products, you need to consider the following:
A lot of back problems are caused by poor posture while doing day to day tasks. Slouching and leaning forward while at your desks or standing for long hours can take a toll on your spine.
And it doesn’t help that you are going about these tasks with lousy workplace ergonomics.
Thus, it makes sense that ergonomics should be paramount when deciding on lower back pain relief products. Particularly, choose one that provides excellent lumbar support.
And while you’re at it, consider as well other things such as how the product can support your height, size, neck, etc.
Preventive, Corrective, or Palliative.
Another important consideration is the kind of treatment you’re hoping to get from the lower back pain relief products. Some of them work best at arresting the problem before it happens (preventive) or when it has already happened (corrective).
Others though only relieve the pain without truly curing the condition (palliative) in the same way that painkillers function.
Ask your doctor’s or chiropractor’s approval when testing out specific products. Pre-existing medical issues or certain back problems can be triggered or worsened by the wrong product. An inversion table, for example, may not be good for people who have a history of hypertension.
Five of the Best Lower Back Pain Relief Products
SOLIDBACK Lower Back Pain Relief Treatment Stretcher
This spiky arc-shaped stretcher is designed to fit your low back to stretch lower and upper back muscles. Made of EVA foam, the nubs are soft to the touch yet hard and dense enough to take on a weight of over 300 lbs.
Running along the center is a contour for spinal cord alignment. The stretcher will prove to be uncomfortable the first few times of use.
- The SOLIDBACK Lower Back Pain Relief Treatment Stretcher is made of sturdy materials. Thus, it can provide reliable support as you stretch your sore back muscles. The spiky foam nubs also act like acupressure.
- It is lightweight, so you can bring it with you when you travel. It is also compact, so it doesn’t take up so much space.
- For only as little as five minutes a day, you can get pain relief from some chronic back pain issues or back pressure triggered by long sitting periods. It does take some getting used to as it can be uncomfortable at first.
- At only 10.5 inches, the width of the back stretcher may not be enough some people. Buying two more would be ideal so that you can place one on each side as an extension. If you buy only one extra, you may lose the function of the contour running along the center for the spinal cord.
- In the same way that the width may not fit everybody, so it is at the height of the back stretcher. It can prove to be too high for those on the petite side. A workaround would be to use it on a bed so that the base could bury itself a little and remove a few centimeters off.
- It is easy to use, but finding the right position may be a challenge especially if you’ve just started using it. While it does come with a manual, a video could undoubtedly provide more visual help.
Comfort Posture Corrector and Back Support Brace
Do you catch yourself slouching? This back support or posture corrector is designed to help you build muscle memory for good posture, which is essential in maintaining a strong and healthy back.
At the start, you wear it for only 15 to 20 minutes a day. Then, you add on to that as your body is able to adjust to the initial discomfort.
This back support comes in small—27.5 to 33.4 inches—to double extra large— 43.3 to 49.2—sizes. It has an adjustable waist belt and shoulder straps that are secured with a Velcro.
It features a triple padding system: a shock-absorbing foam between a perforated neoprene fabric and mesh surface.
- It is well-made and comfortable to wear. The steel support helps keep the spine straight; while the surface, which is fitted with foam sandwiched between a neoprene and a mesh liner, offers good ventilation.
- It is easy to put on and adjust. You may need some help at the beginning to set it into a comfortable fit, but the succeeding times you wear them are a breeze.
- It corrects your posture without restricting your breathing even with the straps going around your torso.
- With the steel support, foam, and fabric, it can feel heavy and bulky.
- The posture corrector tends to ride up, especially if you’re wearing it for long periods or when you’re using it when you’re mobile. While you can just simply pull it down, it’s better to use it when you’re not doing a lot of moving around.
- A manual on how to put the back support brace could have eliminated guesswork.
Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set for Back/Neck Pain Relief and Muscle Relaxation
This acupressure mat is designed to release endorphins, which are natural pain relievers and muscle relaxers. Just lie on the cushioned mat for 10 to 30 minutes a day for back pain relief.
The mat covers the length of your whole back. It is made of 100% high-quality thick cotton as well as plant-based eco-foam. The mat comes with a pillow that’s lined with the same plastic prickly discs you’d find on the back pad.
The mat has +6,000 acupressure points while the neck pillow has +1,700 acupressure points. The mat and pillow set is available in seven colors.
- It gets the job done not only for back-related pains but also other conditions as well, including insomnia and migraines. It feels like having a personal acupuncturist at your disposal.
- It offers great versatility. Aside from a lying down position, you can use it while sitting down and target other parts of your body. The pillow can be used on your lower back or your feet, too. It comes with a manual detailing how else you can use it.
- While the mat can cover the whole back of some people, it may run short for others. It would have been better if it were longer or a full-length body mat. That way you can just adjust the length from the top.
- Can be uncomfortable and painful at first, but you’ll get used to it after a few minutes. If you can deal with the first 45-second to three-minute pain, you won’t notice it the rest of the time you’re on it. You can also start with a thin shirt on until you’ve developed the tolerance to go bareback. Relaxing will also help make lying about it feel less painful.
Innova Health and Fitness ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Table
As the name implies, this equipment is meant to support you in an inverted position. The idea is for the traction force to decompress the spine while your body is flipped over.
For beginners, inversion is performed around 10 minutes at a time at the lowest setting. After two weeks, you can safely work up to the next setting.
The Innova Health and Fitness ITX9600 heavy-duty inversion table is engineered with an adjustable headrest pad and a roomy and comfortable backrest. It features a five-position pin system that indicates the angle with which the inversion table would lean over.
It also has an ergonomic ankle holding system. The inversion table fits users who are 4’10” to 6’6″ tall and weigh 300lbs and under.
- The design of this inversion table is great. The backrest and the ankle rest are padded. It comes with a headrest that reduces stress on the neck. There are also no belts that can be dangerous. It also inverts you smoothly to the other side using the principles of the center of gravity.
- It is pretty easy to assemble and store. The equipment comes with a manual with easy-to-follow instructions, as well as the necessary tools to put it together. And at 52 pounds, it is easy to push aside or fold up and store.
- For a well-made and effective inversion table, it is a bargain.
- While the ankle support is padded, it can become uncomfortable after a few minutes of inversion.
- Although the equipment came with a complimentary set of tools, the tools seemed disposable. If you have your tools, it will speed up the assembly process.
- A design improvement would be a lock for the inversion table when it is in a stowed position. While you can surely improvise a strap to keep the table stationary, it still would have been great to have that feature.
ComfyMed® Premium Quality Back Brace CM-102M with Removable Lumbar Pad for Lower Back Pain Relief and Support Belt for Sciatica, Scoliosis, or Herniated Disc
Looking for a back support that you can use the whole day at work on a daily basis? This support belt from the ComfyMed® will save the day.
It works as a preventive and reactive treatment for lower back pains. You can use it while playing golf, exercising, gardening, and performing heavy lifts, among others.
The belt is composed of inner and outer compression bands. The back is wider than the front. The outer compression band can be tightened with the help of the D-rings attached at the end.
Both bands are locked into place through Velcro. The support belt can support waistlines 26 to 50 inches wide. With this belt comes a removable lumbar pad that you can reposition for comfort.
- It provides excellent back support. Placed between the rib cage and the hip, it reduces stress on the arch of your lower back. And it’s great that it comes with a lumbar pad for overall comfort.
- The D-rings are convenient in tightening or removing the outer compression band.
- Because the back is wider than the front, bending over or sitting down is easy. Your motion won’t be restricted by extra material digging in your hips.
- Because the belt tapers at both ends, it kind of tugs or pinches your abdominal area. A wider end would solve the problem, but that would also present another challenge when you’re doing mostly work that entails a lot of sitting down. Thus, depending on your activity for the day, this feature may or may not work for you.
- It feels warm and makes your tummy area break into sweats. Good thing it’s washable though.
- It’s somewhat bulky and noticeable under a shirt. Plus, the D-rings are free moving with no mechanism to set them in place.
Q: What is the best way to work with the above-mentioned products?
A: The best way to work with them is first to seek the advice of your physician or chiropractor whether it’s safe to use the product given your back problem and medical history. Asking around patients who have used similar products regarding their experience or reading up product reviews would also help you make an informed decision on your purchase.
Also, it’s essential to follow the instructions on the manual that comes with your choice of lower back pain relief treatment tool. And, remember to always start with the lowest setting so to speak.
Do not overdo things thinking that putting in more time and going for a steeper angle, for example, in the inversion table, will provide you faster results.
Q: Is it possible to incur injury when using these products?
A: It is important to see these products as tools. If not used prudently, yes, they can cause more harm than good.
Q: Why can’t I just pop some pills to ease the lower back pain?
A: Well, you can. But if it’s a recurring problem and all you do is turn to some pain relievers or muscle relaxers, you’ll soon have another problem to deal with. Being on constant medication is not good for your kidneys or your liver. Besides, some prescribed medicines only mask the pain and do not go to the root of the problem.
Q: What other lower back pain relief products are there?
A: Aside from those mentioned, you can also look into low-impact exercise equipment to help you strengthen your lower back. There are also ergonomic chairs, good mattresses, and lumbar pillows for good back support.
Q: Anything else I need for a healthier back?
A: Apart from the use of preventive, corrective, or palliative back pain relief products, low-impact exercise, diet, and some sacrifices such us forgoing high heels will improve the state of your spine.
What Lower Back Pain Relief Products Are Best for You?
All the lower back pain relief products above are helpful yet each has it different use. The Comfort Posture Corrector as well as the ComfyMed® Back Brace, for example, are particularly great as proactive and reactive treatments.
Meanwhile, the Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set, the SOLIDBACK lower back stretcher, and the Innova Health and Fitness ITX9600 inversion table, are more suited to palliative and corrective treatment tools.
If you should choose two products, get one that can provide you the support you need the whole day like the ComfyMed® Back Brace and one that you can depend on to release the pressure on your back such as the Innova Health and Fitness ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Table.
Most important, before committing to any of these lower back pain relief products, it is important to consult first with a licensed physician, physical therapist, or chiropractor to avoid worsening your back condition or triggering an entirely different medical issue.