It’s a cold winter morning and as you get out of bed and put your feet on the floor, you feel pain in your lower back. You tried to ignore it for a while, hoping it would go away, but the pain is still there.

You’ve tried stretching, don’t want to resort to over-the-counter painkillers, and even tried contorting yourself in various yoga poses, but nothing seems to help. Fortunately, there are several types of gadgets that can help ease your stubborn back pain.

1. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) devices

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machines are small, wearable devices that use low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate your muscles. Many people use them to treat back pain.

TENS devices such as the Easy@Home TENS Unit muscle stimulator have adhesive electrode pads that you place on your body. Once turned on, the device sends electrical impulses through the electrodes and into your muscles. You can control the intensity and duration of the pulses according to your preferences.

The cool thing about a TENS device is that you can use it on almost any part of your body, including your back, shoulders, arms, and legs. This means that the device can play a double role, not only helping to relieve back pain, but also aiding in active recovery after intense training sessions, long hikes or a grueling mountain bike session.

TENS devices are generally considered safe and effective for pain relief, but it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult with a healthcare professional before using one.

2. Heating pads

RENPHO Heating Pad Product Sheet

Heat is one of the original tools in the pain relief game, and heating pads make soothing heat portable. These devices raise the temperature of your muscles to help reduce pain, relax your body, and reduce inflammation and swelling by increasing blood flow to affected areas.

Heating pads have evolved over the years, and the latest and greatest electronic versions come with infrared technology, temperature settings, and even a built-in massage function.

For example, the RENPHO heating pad is designed to cover the entire back and neck, although it can be applied to other parts of the body. Most electronic pillows feature heat and timer settings, a remote control, an automatic shut-off timer, and a washable cover.

Other more advanced options, like the Hyperice Venom 2 heat and massage wrap, combine modalities (temperature and percussion) to relieve back pain. The device is made of flexible neoprene and is designed to be worn around the waist.

Woman talking on the phone while wearing the Venom 2 heating pad.
Image credit: Hyperice

It connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone device and, using the Hyperice app, you can control its heat and vibration settings. Hyperice claims that the device can heat up almost instantly and lasts for three hours on a single charge. It’s even TSA-approved for carry-on luggage, so you can enjoy the relief on your next cross-Canada flight.

3. Clever foam rollers

Woman using the therabody foam roller on her back.
Image credit: Therabody

Foam rollers are cylindrical pieces of foam that you can use as a form of self-massage. Their use is very simple: just lie down on the roller and use the weight of your body and your arms to slowly roll it back and forth, exerting pressure on your back muscles. This stretches the muscles and hopefully reduces tension and pain.

There are several apps you can use to guide you through foam roller exercises. You can also try a next generation foam roller, equipped with additional features to take it to the next level. For example, the Therabody Wave Roller foam roller combines a foam roller with vibration therapy to help release tension and increase mobility. The device is Bluetooth enabled, which means you can access personalized routines using the Therabody app.

If you’re in the market, consider a smart foam roller with higher-rpm massage pulses, which can help speed recovery when applied to large muscle groups like the back.

4. Deep tissue massagers

Product picture Snailax
Image credit: Amazon

Massagers have been around for a while and are considered very safe, including for treating back pain by stretching back muscles and increasing blood flow. They are able to target muscles that can become tight and painful for several reasons, including poor posture, overuse, or injury.

Deep tissue massagers come in a variety of forms, including hand-held devices and chair cushions. Handheld devices like the Therabody Prime feature an ergonomic handle, multiple attachment heads, an integrated app via Bluetooth, and customizable speeds. However, due to its shape, it might be difficult to use to target your back.

Other options such as the Wahl Deep Tissue Manual Massager provide targeted muscle relief and are designed to reach harder to reach areas like the lower back. This device delivers over 3,000 pulses per minute, has multiple massage heads, and can run for up to 7 hours on a single charge.

If you just want to sit back and let the gadget do the work, you probably don’t want a handheld device. Fortunately, other more passive options are available. For example, the Snailax shiatsu neck and back massager is equipped with features such as heat and vibration, as well as mechanisms that mimic rolling or kneading. And you can use it on any office chair, recliner or sofa.

This means that you can use this device on one of the best office chairs for back pain while using one of the best apps for improving posture. Your back will thank you!

Relieve back pain with these gadgets

If you’re the type of person to suffer from some form of back pain, then one of these gadgets might be just what you need. Whether you opt for electrical muscle stimulation, heat therapy, or using a smart foam roller, there’s something for everyone.

Remember, however, that it is best to consult a doctor before choosing a device suitable for your situation. Speedy recovery !

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