Roses and chocolates are nice and sweet. However, these traditional Valentine’s Day gifts won’t do much to help someone with persistent or recurring back pain. If you have someone special in your life who is living with distracting spine-related discomfort and want to treat him or her to a meaningful gift this Valentine’s Day, focus your attention on items likely to offer much-appreciated relief. If you need some suggestions, trusted Los Angeles spine surgeons from The Spine Institute have a handful of good ideas.
1. Lumbar Cushion
Sitting for long periods, whether it’s at work or during long car rides, can make back pain worse. If your special someone has lower back pain, a lumbar cushion will likely be appreciated. Designed to be used anywhere, lumbar cushions minimize stress on spine-supporting muscles and help the user maintain correct posture. Consider cushions made from memory foam, which is designed to naturally adjust to the user’s curves for added support.
2. Neck Support Products
Ranking as one of the top three causes of chronic pain, neck pain is often aggravated by improper spinal alignment. For this reason, a good gift for people with neck pain is a memory foam pillow that helps them retain alignment while sleeping. C-shaped pillows can ease discomfort felt during car or plane rides or from long hours sitting at work. Some neck support cushions are heated, while others include ice packs that can be slipped into the cushion. The added heat and cold can increase circulation and reduce inflammation.
3. Massage Cushion
Give a gift that can be enjoyed while working, driving, traveling, or relaxing after a long day. Some massage cushions are designed to produce results similar to what would be experienced with a real massage, but for a fraction of the cost. Available features that can soothe tense back and/or neck muscles include:
- Controlled heat
- Massage widths that adjust to body shape
- Multiple comfort controls
4. Ergonomic Desk Chair
Ergonomics refers to designs that minimize harm or injury. If you have a friend who spends most of the day seated at a desk, a supportive, ergonomically designed chair can provide sufficient lower back support. Look for features that help the user maintain posture and allow for some degree of movement, such as swivel features and adjustable armrests and seat heights.
5. Certificate for a Massage
Professional massages can be an excellent and relaxing way to ease back pain. Since it’s for Valentine’s Day, consider getting a gift certificate for a couple’s massage. Massages can help with back pain by relieving the tension that often contributes to muscle spasms. There are many types of therapeutic massage that are good for people with back pain, including:
- Deep tissue massages
- Shiatsu massages
- Swedish or related aromatherapy massages
- Thai massages that involve assisted yoga and passive stretches
Incidentally, a little chocolate coupled with any of the above gifts may not be such a bad idea. Cacao, the main ingredient in chocolate, naturally boosts endorphin levels, which are hormone-like substances that have pain-relieving effects similar to certain opiates. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that play a role in reducing the inflammation that often contributes to back pain.
If you care about someone who is living with chronic back pain, encourage them to get in touch with The Spine Institute. We specialize in a wide array of minimally invasive procedures designed to alleviate pain in the spine, including traditional fusion surgery, artificial disc replacement, and spinal decompression. Los Angeles residents who want to schedule an in-person evaluation should call our office today at 310-828-7757.