Back pain affects anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of the population at one time or another, so odds are good you have friends or family members with some degree of back pain. When it’s time to buy a gift for someone, consider practical gifts likely to be appreciated by someone with recurring spine-related aches and pains. If you need a little inspiration, the Beverly Hills spine surgeons at The Spine Institute have a few good ideas.
1. Specially Designed Pillows
Maintaining spinal alignment while sleeping can prevent back and neck pain from being a distraction during waking hours. Designed to keep the upper back and neck aligned, wedge-shaped pillows can provide sufficient support through the night. If you know someone who’s not likely to stay in one position at night, consider a body pillow instead. A body pillow can achieve a similar goal with alignment by contouring to the body’s natural shape.
2. Carry-Along Gel Cushions
Help your friend or loved one remain comfortable wherever he or she goes with gel cushions he or she can carry along to make sitting easier for things like church services or long car rides. Some gel cushions include lumbar support features designed to ease pressure on the tailbone and minimize stress on spine-supporting muscles in the buttocks and hips.
3. Swiveling Car Seats
Getting in and out of vehicles can be difficult for people with back pain. Make this task less painful for a person with back pain by gifting a portable car seat with a base that turns with body movements. Many swivel seats are also well-cushioned for added support and comfort.
4. Heating Pads/Reusable Cold Packs
Hot and cold therapy is a common recommendation for people with back pain. Even if your intended recipient already has a heating pad, he or she is likely to appreciate newer ones designed to conform better to the shape of the back or neck. Some pads even have massage features, while others generate both moist and dry heat. If you’re feeling generous, consider pairing this gift with a reusable cold pack.
5. Ergonomic/Adjustable Workstations
If the person with back pain has a job that requires a lot of sitting, make the work environment less demanding on his or her spine with an ergonomically designed keyboard and mouse. If it’s in your budget, arrange to send an ergonomically designed chair as well. Another option is an adjustable workstation that allows the user to shift from a sitting to a standing position while working.
6. Relaxation/Exercise DVDs
Techniques like mindful meditation and certain yoga poses can be beneficial for people with back pain. However, it’s not always easy for people with back pain to get to a class to learn how to do these things. Fortunately, there are plenty of DVDs that provide instruction on how to exercise safely with back pain, meditate, and properly perform various yoga or Pilates poses. Another option is to download instructional videos that cover the same topics to allow your friend or loved one to view them from any device.
7. Bath/Shower Aids
Daily baths and showers can sometimes be challenging for people with back pain. Make such tasks less demanding with gifts such as a padded shower seat, an adjustable bath/shower seat, or a bath pillow (some are specially designed to allow air and moisture to flow through them).
8. Household Assistance Gadgets
Bending, reaching, and stretching can easily aggravate spinal discs or other structures that may be contributing to back pain. Make life around the house easier by giving gifts specific to things you know your recipient has difficulty with. Possibilities include:
- Sock aids
- Hand-controlled grabbers or reachers to get things off high shelves
- Extra-long shoehorns
- Nonslip floor mats to place near doors when it’s raining to minimize fall risks
9. Homemade Gift Cards Specific to Certain Tasks
If your gift-giving budget is a little limited, consider a homemade gift card. Personalize it to the recipient’s needs by making it specific to certain tasks you know he or she has difficulty doing because of back pain. For example, you could make the card redeemable for free babysitting or household chores like doing the laundry.
10. Canes/Walkers with Special Features
Even if the person with back pain has a standard cane, he or she will likely appreciate one that’s more convenient to use. Some canes have a special tripod base that allows them to remain in place when doing things like grocery shopping, and other canes conveniently fold up. For individuals on your gift list who use a walker, consider giving them one with an attached seat or basket.
If the person you’re buying a gift for is living with severe chronic pain, he or she may need minimally invasive back surgery. Beverly Hills residents can rely on Dr. Hyun Bae at The Spine Institute to help them find effective relief for their pain. To schedule an in-person evaluation, give us a call at 310-828-7757 today.