Have Back Pain? 10+ Gadgets That Make Life Easier
Have back problems?
If you have chronic back problems or just recently hurt your back, you know how painful it can be to do even the simplest things. Fortunately, there are a number of great products out there to help you get up, down, and move around, so you can keep living your life to its fullest even with back pain.
I have a chronic problem with slipped spinal disks. The last time I injured my back, I hurt myself by coughing. Yup, one cough attack and I was pretty much in bed for a week. Knowing that I will continue to have back problems in the future, I do everything I can to avoid putting out my back again. I exercise and I stretch my back (see 6 best back stretching devices) and I have some of really helpful gadgets that help to reduce my back pain when I hurt myself.
I also have started collecting some great tools and gadgets to help me live my life even when I have really bad back pain. Some of these gadgets are so helpful and so inexpensive that they are definitely worth getting even if you just have short term back pain. I have personally used almost all of these items and can vouch for their helpfulness. Here's my picks for the top 10+ best gadgets to help live more comfortably when you have back pain:
To Help You Get In And Out Of Bed
One of the most painful things for me is getting in and out of my bed when my back is hurting. I dread getting trying to sit up and have even re-injured myself just trying to get out of bed. So I think these items are invaluable for people who have back problems.
The Stander BedCaddie Sit-Up Support is really helpful for sitting up from your bed. When I am in a lot of pain, it is very difficult for me to sit up without help. The BedCaddie Stander Support is so helpful in giving you something you can pull on to help you sit up with less pain. It has a three tiered ladder type system so that you can pull yourself up in stages. It's comfortable and easy to use and it can be installed in your bed in minutes. I love the BedCaddie and I love that I can store it away so easily when I don't need it.
Drive Medical Adjustable Height Home Bed Assist Handle is also something inexpensive that you can put away when it isn't needed. For a really inexpensive gadget, this bed assist handle can't be beat. All you do is slip it under your mattress to provide a secure handle to help you pull and push out of bed more easily.
If you are a side sleeper, you know how impossible it can be to try to sleep when your back is hurting. A good body pillow can be a life changer. I love my Comfort U Pillow. Although it pretty much takes up my whole bed, when I am having backpain, it makes a huge difference in my ability to sleep. There is a wide variety of different body pillows available and depending on how you sleep, different shaped ones may work better for you. But I do recommend your taking a look at the Comfort U or other good body pillows even if it is just something simple like this one. You will absolutely notice a difference and I think it is well worth the investment for more restful sleep.
I haven't actually tried this yet but I will the the next time I put out my back. If you have to be in bed all day, it difficult to change into a comfortable position in bed without help. One of my friends suggested I try a self inflating pillow. With a pillow that I can easily raise or lower with a mere twist of a knob underneath my primary pillow, it can help me get more comfortable without calling for help. Unfortunately, my friend uses a pillow that is no longer on the market. So I did a ton of research and I could not find exactly what I was looking for.
The best option I found was the Onwego Self Inflating Pillow. To raise your pillow, you just twist open the travel pillow's safety-lock air valve and it will self-inflate. To increase firmness if you need it, you need to gently blow into the air pillow's valve. To deflate it and make it lower, open the valve and squish it to push out some air through the valve opening. It's not something I can increase or decrease with a touch of a button like I would ideally like but it will probably help me avoid having to sit up every time I need to adjust my pillow slightly higher or lower. For actually sleeping, I love my Comfort U Body Pillow. But for those days when I need bed rest, I am going to try a self inflating pillow. Does anyone have suggestions for a better way to help me get comfortable without having to spend a fortune when I am on forced bed rest?
TIP: If your bed is a bit tall for you to get in or out of bed easily, use a step aid like this one by your bed to give you a bit more height for getting in and out of bed. It can really help.
Products To Help You Get Out Of The Car
The Duro-Med Deluxe Swivel Seat Cushion helps you more easily twist and turn in any direction while seated, thus helping to prevent or minimize back strain. It is a terrific seat to put in your car so you can get in and out with less pain. It may take a bit adjustment to make it work for you and your specific car seat but for helping ease the pain of getting in and out of cars or turning at a table to sit down, this swivel cushion is really terrific.
The Standers Handybar is a stainless steel bar with a soft, non-slip hand grip that slides into a car's door slot to provide a secure assist in getting in or out of the vehicle. (Reviews for this mobility aid indicate that it is best used with larger cars, so the bar is high enough to provide adequate leverage.)
The CarCaddie, also from Standers, is another solution to managing the difficulty of getting in or out of a vehicle with back pain. This is a nylon strap and handle that attaches to the top of the car door to help you balance yourself and help pull you up. Since it can be adjusted to accommodate various window heights, the Standers CarCaddie might be a better choice than the Handybar for use with compact cars, although it is less sturdy.
Get Something Off The Floor Or Reach On A Shelf
If you need to get something off the floor or something out of your reach, you know how difficult it can be to grab it. There are three grabber aids I like. You just grab a grab aid and reach for what you need with no bending or stretching. These three items are very similar but for folks who also deal with hand pain, I wanted to highlight different options.
The Ettore Grip'n Grab is a great grabbing stick. It has rubberized jaws so it can quickly grab almost anything you need. It comes in a 30 inch but also has a longer 50 inch so that you can decide which will work best. It has a swivel head and comfortable handles and is a good general purpose grabbing stick. People love this grabber.
The Vive Suction Tool Grabber is also a good option. Unlike the Ettore, the Vive grabber is a grabber with suction cups.You may find the grabber with suction to work better for you if you have dexterity issues with your hands. It is perfect for small or touch to grab items and is highly recommended.
The Telestik Reacher Adhesive Disk Telescopic Reacher System has a telescoping arm that extends up to 34 inches. It also has two ways to grab: a simple hook, and a strong adhesive disk and can hold items that are up to one pound in weight. I like that the reacher has an adjustable arm and also that it has an adhesive end so that it is less stressful on my hands. It will be easier to use for someone who may have arthritis or carpal tunnel or other hand pain issues.
To Help You Sit Down And Stand Up
The biggest challenge I have with back pain is going in and out of the bathroom toilet. Safety grip bars for the bathroom are typically intended to help you navigate around your shower more safely but I find them really helpful around the toilet as well.
With my back issues, I have installed permanent grip bars that are suprisingly attractive (and not ugly like the ones you see in handicapped bathrooms) and I love having them all over my bathroom. If you don't want something permanent, adding a movable grab bar or a few would be the easiest thing to do and enormously helpful. There are many bath assist grab bars to choose from. I like the longer handles as I think they are more useful and I think the Safe-er Grip Bath & Shower Handle looks like a great option.
TIP: If you need help getting in and out of a chair or couch, you can get your favorite seat moved close to a wall and then add a temporary grab bar or two to help give you the boost you need in getting in and out of the chair more comfortably. You can invest in several great chair assists but for temporary pain or for a cheap fix, I think the grab bars work really well. When you can move around more easily or you have company, you can just remove the temporary grab bar without any damage to the wall and put them back on whenever you need them.
The Standers Security Pole provides secure support for sitting and standing. It is portable and can be moved from room to room as needed. It can be placed beside the bed, positioned next to the sofa or a chair, or installed between the bathtub and the toilet. I think it would be most useful in a bathroom if you need a bit of help getting on and off the throne and you don't have security rails already installed all over your bathroom. The Standers Security Pole has a curved grab bar with four vertical sections, which allows you to use hand over hand to gradually pull yourself into a standing position. There's also a simpler version or the stand up pole that gets great reviews as well. It does not have the curved bar handles so it is less bulky and will work better in smaller bathrooms.
For minor or temporay back pain, I'd use the grab bars. But for more assistance, these poles can be really helpful. You need to get several or you need someone who can help you move one around so I prefer getting a several grab bars and putting them all over the place when I need them, but the stander poles really work well for folks with chronic problems.
Help Getting Dressed And Undressed
You wouldn't think getting dressed would be so difficult but you know how painful it can be to try to put on a pair of pants, socks and shoes when your back is screaming in pain. For very few dollars, I can minimize the pain and awkwardness of dressing and as an added bonus, avoid re-injuring myself.
Any good dressing stick will help you get dressed with less difficulty. I like the Ablewear Combination Dressing Stick and Shoehorn. In addition to a large hook at one end and a long shoe horn, it also has two pushers to help push clothing off. Being able to avoid some of the pulling and bending of your back that dressing and undressing requires can make this part of your morning routine less painful and challenging.
TIP: For days with bad back pain, get yourself some easy wear clothes. A long flowy one piece dress can be such a help when you need to get dressed. For men, I'd look for elastic waist pants and slip on shoes that really look good for when you need to make life easy.
These 10+ gadgets to make life easier with back pain are only a small sampling of the great gadgets that are available to help you live your life more comfortably when you have injured your back or have more chronic back pain or spinal injuries. So I urge you to spend a few dollars to buy products that can help you can live your life more comfortably. In the long run, spending money on these devices will help save you money by helping you be more independent and helping you reduce your your reliance on others. Even more importantly, it can help you avoid new back injuries.
If you know someone who has back problems, these gadgets will make great inexpensive and life changing gifts. Even one of these items can help and a combination of several of them will make the whole challenge of living with back pain easier. For anyone with lower back pain, middle back pain, upper back pain or low back pain with sciatica or nerve and muscular problems, degenerative disc diseases, or arthritis that results back pain, these products can definitely help.
Your back will thank you and so will all the people you can avoid having to hassle daily to help you with simple tasks. Remember also to exercise and stretch your back whenever you can!
If you have any feedback or tips on any of the products listed here or recommendations for others, please share them by commenting below.
Wishing you and your loved ones a pain free day!