Back pain of some kind affects a significant number of people—by some estimates, 16 million adults experience persistent or chronic back pain. Dealing with recurring pain can make it difficult and painful to work, exercise, or engage in other routine activities. And since the onset of the pandemic and work-from-home life, many of us are experiencing more back and neck pain than ever.
So what are the best products for back pain relief? Physical therapists share their favorites.
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Products that help with back pain relief
1. Myodetox Wedge – $29
“I use these for movements like basic squats and single-leg movements,” says Nan Luma, online health & fitness coach at Recess. “They help facilitate movement in the ankle joint, which promotes a stronger foot, giving you more control of your feet.” You might be surprised at the mention of feet in relation to back pain, but “it’s really important to remember that the body is all connected,” Luma says. “Pain in one area can often be resolved by treating another area of the body. I like to start with the feet.”
2. Muscle Blaster V2 – $299.99
“Sometimes foam rolling just doesn’t do it or can’t hit the exact trigger point,” Luma says. “I love this particular massage tool because it’s easy to grip and the battery lasts forever. I think I’ve only had to charge it a handful of times in more than 12 months.”
3. Toe Spreaders by Wild Toes – $19
“Toe spreaders are life’s tiny miracles for pain relief,” says Luma. “These help to reset your feet back to their original human design, after decades of wearing footwear that alters the shape of your toes and feet. Many issues with pain in the body can be aided by aligning your toes—and these do the trick for me.”
Related: 8 Workouts to Help with Back Pain
4. CryoMAX 8 Hour Reusable Cold Therapy Ice Pack – $14.92
“With an acute back injury—something sudden or recent—ice is my number one recommendation,” says Dr. Carol Stillman, PT, DPT, PHC, owner of Sutton Place Physical and Aquatic Therapy. Stillman notes that applying ice (or an ice pack) directly to the affected area can provide surprisingly effective pain relief.
5. Chirp Wheel+ 10-Inch Foam Roller – $49.99
Stillman says using foam rollers routinely as part of an exercise or therapy program can be helpful in both the treatment and prevention of back pain.
Related: Restorative Yoga Poses for Back Pain
6. Everlasting Comfort Lumbar Support Pillow – $32.95
“These cushions allow your spine to remain in a natural, neutral position,” says Stillman. “Prolonged sitting is the new smoking. Never sit or drive for more than an hour without getting up to unload your spine, especially if you are prone to back pain!”
7. Salonpas Pain Relieving Patch – $4.99
You can choose from a wide variety of over-the-counter pain relief options for back pain, but some physical therapists have a preference and strongly recommend one format over another. Dave Endres, physical therapist and co-founder of Spear Center says his team advises clients to opt for transdermal pain therapy whenever possible. In addition to these patches, Salonpas also offers transdermal products in gel, spray, and liquid forms.
Related: 7 Best Mattresses for Back Pain
8. Sunpow Super Bands – $39.99
“Super bands are a great way to mobilize joints without the physical therapist being present to manually mobilize,” says Dr. Kayleigh Coffman, PT, DPT, of Launch Physical Therapy. “They can be tethered to a cable system at the gym or hooked into the hinge of a door to loop around hip joint, ankle joint, or the lumbar spine itself to work into deeper ranges of motion with the tissue extensibility and the super bands helping at the joint level. We need both tissue and joint mobility to move into deeper ranges of motion.”
9. Heathyoga Eco-Friendly Non Slip Yoga Mat – $42.90
“Low back pain can be due to weakness or instability with certain joints or mobility deficits at certain joints,” says Dr. Coffman “As movement experts, we need to address both to ensure the patient has the tools to manage their symptoms in between sessions. Yoga mats are perfect ways to enhance mobility of the hip joints, ankle joints, and lumbar joints themselves which are tied in often with low back pain.”
10. Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair – $414.26
If you cannot avoid spending time in a chair while working, it can be helpful to opt for an ergonomic chair like this one “which can support your posture and help prevent back pain,” says Jean Pradel, physical therapist and owner of Physical Therapy Now Miramar. Pradel adds, “If you sit all day, even in an ergonomic chair, make sure you take stretch breaks throughout the day and go for short walks.”
11. Sparthos Back Brace – $40.99
Pradel recommends a back brace like this one—made from a breathable mesh fabric—as an especially good pick “for those in manual labor who have to lift heavy items, because wearing a back brace can help stabilize your back and prevent injuries.”
Back pain often requires professional treatment
While the products listed above can be helpful for those with back pain, it’s also important to know when to seek medical help. “Back pain is an indication that something is wrong,” says Pradel. “A physical therapist can conduct a personalized evaluation to help you figure out the root cause of your back pain, treat it and provide strategies and recommend products to prevent back pain.”
Next up, try these 11 easy stretches that can help with back pain.
- Dr. Kayleigh Coffman, PT, DPT, of Launch Physical Therapy.
- Dave Endres, Physical Therapist and co-founder of Spear Center
- Nan Luma, Online Health & Fitness Coach with Recess
- Jean Pradel, Physical Therapist and owner of Physical Therapy Now Miramar.
- Dr. Carol Stillman, PT, DPT, PHC, owner of Sutton Place Physical and Aquatic Therapy