While the holiday season is known for evoking feelings of joy and merriment, we know that back pain can dampen even the most festive of spirits. That’s why we’re devoting this episode to our Top 10 Gift Ideas to promote a healthy spine. If you have a friend or family member struggling with back issues this holiday season, consider a gift that will help them stay active and pain-free in 2021.
1. Traditional Medicinal Tea. Medicinal teas are available at most grocery stores, and many contain ingredients like ginger, turmeric, and meadowsweet that can reduce inflammation in the body and control or modulate your immune system. Dr. Lakhia’s favorite Tumeric with Meadowsweet & Ginger $5.79/box.
2. Lumbar Support. Whether you suffer from back pain or not, we can all benefit from lumbar support. A lumbar support is a cushion intended to help create proper lordosis, or proper curvature, in your low back. You can use a lumbar in any of your chairs. Dr. Lakhia recommends the Core Products Small Inflatable Lumbar Cushion $30.
3. Foam Roller. A foam roller is a cylindrical tool that you can use almost as a portable massage therapist. Placing it on the ground, you use the roller to target problem areas. A quick search on YouTube will return numerous exercise options. Dr. Lakhia recommends getting two sizes, a smaller one and a longer one, to target specific areas. Foam rollers are a cheap and critical tool to have in the toolbox as you battle any sort of back issue. Try the Gimmer 10 Foam Roller $23.
4. Thera Cane. A Thera Cane is a handheld tool for self-treating myofascial trigger points and tender points in your back, hip, and pelvis. The Thera Cane’s design allows you to get leverage to address your pain points if no one is around to assist you. Dr. Lakhia recommends the Body Back Buddy Elite $30.
5. Trigger Point Manual. If you’re purchasing a Thera Cane, you will also want to pick up the Trigger Point Manual. It’s a patient education manual and it shows you where you can find all the trigger points. (Learn more about trigger points in our episode on Acupuncture vs. Dry Needling) Trigger Point Therapy Workbook $20.
6. HeartMath. HeartMath is a biofeedback tool that provides you with guided breathing exercises to help you develop what’s called heart and brain coherence, where the energy of your heart center can become in tune with the energy of your brain. The HeartMath tool takes you through daily breathing exercises. Over time, it can improve your heart rate variability, which means you’re lowering your stress and boosting your immune system and overall health. HeartMath $120
7. Venom Back Brace. The Venom brace is like a portable physical therapy gym, allowing you to treat yourself on the go with built-in deep heat and vibration. Venom Brace from Hyperice $199.
8. Oura Ring. The Oura Ring is a premium sleep tracker that tracks your sleep time, sleep cycles, and helps you understand how your daily habits help or hinder your sleep. OuraRing.com $299.
9. HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket. With amethyst, tourmaline, and charcoal in the cover, the sauna blanket is going to heat you up, promote detoxification, and relax your muscles. It’s also incredibly portable and comes at a fraction of the price tag of a traditional sauna. (Listen to this episode where Dr. Lakhia discusses the far-infrared sauna) Dr. Lakhia cautions you to stay hydrated and replenish your electrolytes with coconut water or another natural, low-sugar beverage. HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket $499.
10. Original Mattress Company Orthopedic Ultra Plush Mattress. One of the top questions doctors receive about back pain is, “what mattress should I use?” This can be a hard question to answer because, like finding a good pair of shoes, mattresses are a highly personalized experience. What works wonders for one person may be awful for another. With that said, Dr. Lakhia recommends the Original Mattress Factory Orthopedic Ultra Plush Mattress. The mattresses are composed of high-quality materials, the prices are reasonable, and the company stands by its products. Original Mattress Factory Orthopedic Ultra Plush Mattress Set $600-$1300.
With something on here for everyone’s price point, we hope these products can provide some value and relief to you or a loved one this holiday season. If you have a limited budget and really can only go for one of these things, Dr. Lakhia recommends the foam roller. It’s an incredibly useful tool that any physical therapist would likely recommend.
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For more information on Dr. Sanjiv Lakhia’s practice, visit BackTalkDoc.com
Back Talk Doc is brought to you by Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, with offices in North and South Carolina. To learn more about Dr. Lakhia and treatment options for back and spine issues, go to backtalkdoc.com. To schedule an appointment with Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, you can call us at 1-800-344-6716 or visit our website at carolinaneurosurgery.com.