10 Best Pain Relief Devices Without A Prescription


According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. In 2010 dollars, the total cost of health care spent in relation to pain ranged from $560 billion to $635 billion in the United States alone. These numbers are staggering, and it's little wonder pain relief devices are so popular among consumers. With this in mind, we decided to research some of the best products available in conjunction to pain relief without a prescription or surgical intervention. Whether it's headaches or back or joint pain, there's a gizmo or device designed specifically for your condition just waiting to be tried. Here are 10 pain relief gadgets and therapeutics worth trying...

Back Pain Relief Devices

Inversion therapy seems to be leading the way in back pain relief devices. Often called tables or chairs, these devices allow the spine to decompress and improve circulatory and lymphatic flow while supplying nutrients and oxygen to cells said to be essential to repair and improvement. So, who's got the best product for this purpose? There is no one definitive inversion table said to be better than all the rest, but it seems the more expensive models do offer greater ease of adjustment when it comes to inversion speed, level and returning to an upright position. In other words, there's less athleticism or acrobatics involved than with the lower-end models. Right now the Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table is the customer favorite on Amazon with consumer reviews.

If hanging upside down is out of the question, there's a back pain relief device known as the Airslant Bodyslant Inflatable Slant Board by Evolution Health that allows users to comfortably recline on what is basically a wedge-shaped air mattress with your feet elevated. It allows for a 14- to 16-inch slant inversion height and comes with its own pump for easy inflation. While you won't get the full decompression of the spine that an inversion chair or table will provide, it should help ease some of the symptoms of spinal compression by alleviating pressure. 

Another popular item for back pain relief is the Spine-Worx Back Realignment Device. It's designed for realigning vertabrae to their natural position and helps relieve muscular pain, pressure and irritation. It's used by many chiropractic patients in between office visits. This piece of equipment has a legion of devoted fans, but it should be noted it's limited in its usefulness as a spinal alignment device due to the fact it does not align the entire spine, specifically the cervical spine. On the upside, it's inexpensive, portable and lightweight, and FDA approved for sale to relieve back pain.


Omron TENS Unit: Pain relief deviceOmron TENS Unit: Pain relief device


Joint Pain Relief Devices

Joint pain can lead to a loss of quality of life, whether it's your ankles, knees, elbows, hands or wrists. Besides a gazillion supplements on the market to target that pain, there are some promising joint pain relief devices available that offer support for the body part that ails you. The first are compression braces or sleeves for moderate pain relief. Unlike more traditional wrap bandages, compression braces come in a variety of sizes specifically designed for various joints to guarantee a snug, secure fit. Many are now infused with copper. The jury is still out on whether the copper has any real medicinal benefit or it's just the compression that alleviates the pain, but most people do find some measure of relief when using them.

For sufferers of carpal tunnel and hand fatigue due to overuse, there is a product that has been on the market for many years known as Handeze. Handeze are lightweight therapeutic gloves made from Lycra that work on the same general principal as compression therapy. The difference between these flexible little half gloves and wrist splints is Handeze allow for movement while you work. Users find less overall soreness, pain and fatigue while performing repetitive tasks with their hands when using these gloves regularly. They come in nude and black and can be found at most drug stores quite reasonably priced. 

Electrotherapy used to be something that you had to go to a doctor or physical therapist for. That's not the case anymore. TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, provides targeted relief of achy, stiff or sore muscle and joint pain without drugs, bandages or braces. The units are compact and easy to use without a prescription. The Omron electroTHERAPY Pain Relief Device PM3030 features three pre-set programs ­for arms, lower back and legs or feet, each with five levels of therapy intensity. It's FDA cleared for home use and comes with reusable self-adhesive pads. Even Icy Hot has an over-the-counter travel-size version for on-the-go convenience, if you want to try it before investing in a higher quality unit.

Headache Pain Relief Devices

Sufferers of headaches and migraines are always on the lookout for products that can reduce the number of hours or days spent lying in dark rooms with hot or cold compresses. There have been some promising advances on this front in recent years — including TENS units — and one of those advancements comes in the form of light therapy. Infrared light therapy was developed by NASA for astronauts' muscle injuries while in space, but many people are using it to fight headaches as well. It's claimed that by targeting stiff neck muscles and the temple region it stimulates blood circulation and loosens those muscles for gradual relief. The size of a small hand brush, they're said to be great for on-the-go spot treating and FDA approved for pain applications.

Compression headbands for headache relief have been around for a while, but now they're showing up with magnets and heat and cold options available as well. Many years ago it was discovered that by simply using a thick rubber band pulled down over your head and allowing it to rest across your forehead and temples the pain could be diminished. This does, in fact, work, but you have to find a rubber band big enough to fit your noggin. It's probably easier to buy one of the adjustable bands you can find at drug stores and places like Amazon if you want to try it. Most are inexpensive and all are easy to use.

Finally, there's something called the Headache Hammock, developed by a doctor, that looks promising. The Headache Hammock is a FDA registered orthopedic traction headrest that is specifically designed to naturally relieve headaches and neck pain. It's supposed to do this by releasing muscular tension using an occipital lift. By placing your head properly on the device, the high density polyurethane foam (heatable and coolable) will lift your head and traction the back of the skull (called the occiput) while at the same time applying gentle pressure to the muscular tension in the upper neck. Some users say it takes a little getting used to and can be a little uncomfortable until you do, but by sticking with it you will find relief.

Pain Relief Alternatives

All of these pain relief devices have the potential for improving the quality of your life, but here's one last suggestion for alternatives to drugs and surgery: Morton Epsom Lotion. While it is obviously not a pain relieving device, it is a pain reliever in its own right. Epsom lotion offers similar results as a good, long soak in the tub with epsom salts without the soak. It's great for work, travel and other circumstances where convenience is important. Morton is not the only manufacturer of this product, but they are probably the most reasonably priced. As always, it's a good idea to check with your physician before embarking on any pain relief program, so you might want to ask your doctor before trying any of these products.

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