Still need some gifts for those special people in your life? Well – after 9 months of working from home and virtual school with makeshift office set-ups, long hours and few breaks – just about everyone could benefit from some holiday gifts to help them get ‘back’ to normal. So here are 10 gift ideas to help people with neck and back pain usher in a more comfortable, less painful New Year.
New office chair By this point you’re likely well aware if someone in your life needs a new chair to get through their work or school day because you probably hear them complain about it a lot. Opt for one that has good back support, arm rests and adjustable features so you can fit it to your height. This one is nice because it has a supportive mesh back and the armrests and seat are both adjustable. Keep in mind – you don’t have to limit yourself to just one chair. Exercise balls make a nice break when you’re looking for something different and maybe try standing for part of your day too.
Calf Stretcher This helps with those pesky tight hamstrings – it allows you to stretch out your calves to alleviate back pain. Try using this before and after a workout to prevent any cramping.
2020 has made a lot of us spend extra time at our desks in uncomfortable positions for our neck. The Varidesk standing desk allows you to have the most versatile setup and provides optimal height for sitting and standing, keeping your neck straight and computer eye level.
Anti Fatigue Kitchen Mat With the popularity of cooking and baking during the pandemic, an anti fatigue kitchen mat will do wonders for someone spending lots of time in the kitchen. These are designed to provide foot support with a cushion that is made for comfort. Once you try this out, you’ll want one for the whole family!
Lumbar Pillow We all spend a lot of time sitting these days and if your posture isn’t great or you’re hunched over books, a computer or other device for very long – you will start to feel the pain in your back and neck. Lumbar pillows are great options to promote better posture while providing better support. Here’s one with memory foam that can ease stress on the lower and middle back.
Seat Cushion These cushions can go on office chairs or in your car. They’re soft but firm and that helps take pressure off your back, waist, hips and thighs. Less pressure on your back may improve your posture and they’re lightweight and easy to move from one sitting spot to another. This one has 47,000 reviews on Amazon so it’s been well tested and gets high marks.
Foam roller Foam rollers come in all shapes, designs and sizes. They’re easy to use and adapt to wherever you have sore muscles. Lie on it, lean on it or have someone roll it over sore muscles or knots and it penetrates soft tissue, increases blood flow and can reduce pain and soreness – providing instant relief to strained muscles not only in the back but also in the legs, arms and feet. This one’s sturdy, comes in many colors and supports all body types.
Back Massager There are a ton of back massaging products on the market and you don’t want to overdo it with them. But if someone is just dealing with sore muscles, these devices can really loosen things up. This one has more than 23,000 reviews on Amazon and 4.5 stars. Some nice features include the vegan leather, a heating feature and the fact that the massage nodes move in multiple directions.
Heating pad Sometimes heat can do wonders for soothing sore muscles in the back and neck. Here’s one that’s extra soft and again – don’t overdo it – no more than 20 minutes at a time.
Yoga Mat Yoga has long been used to promote flexibility and resilience in the spine. It also improves joint mobility and control. There are tons of virtual classes you can follow from home during the pandemic and many styles and practices ranging from muscle building to stress reduction. Before you take part – make sure you have some key supplies including a quality yoga mat. Find one like this that’s made from non-toxic materials and is thick, soft and cushiony with a textured non-slip surface.
Dr. Ehsan Jazini is a board certified spine surgeon at Virginia Spine Institute.