Back pain seems to be a pretty common condition that plagues all of us at some point or another. In fact, a 2019 study conducted by the CDC reported that nearly 40% of adults in the U.S. experienced back-related pain in the three months prior to the study.
Dr. Grant D. Shifflett, an orthopedic spine surgeon for DISC Sports & Spine Center in California, previously told HuffPost that finding supportive pillows and ergonomic chairs that promote better posture can help alleviate back pain in the long run. However, if immediate relief is what you’re after, it might be worth your while to seek out the soothing benefits of heat.
According to Dr. Rahul Shah, a board-certified orthopedic spine and neck surgeon in New Jersey who previously spoke with HuffPost, the use of warmth can work to soothe muscles locally by either reducing inflammation or encouraging blood flow.
Whether you occupy an office chair for most hours of the day, sit in the car for long periods of time or just want a relaxing recliner in the living room, these everyday items can be quickly transformed into comforting and warming pain relievers while still retaining their function. Peruse the following lineup of heated chairs, seat cushions and lumbar support pads that other sufferers swear by for reducing back pain.
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A heated high-backed chair with lumbar support
This ergonomic office chair has double layer soft cushioning, an extra padded headrest and a curved backrest that fits the contours of the back for added support. There's even an adjustable foot rest that retracts from underneath the seat of the chair. Choose from eight vibrating massage modes as well as a targeted lumbar heat function. Promising review:
"I bought this for my wife, she has pain on her lower back and she likes this office chair, it allows her to lay down like a sofa and the chair itself has massage and heat-up in the back, it really helps relieve her pain. The product exceeds my expectations and the quality is very decent. I would highly recommend it if you are working from home or sitting on the office chair for long hours." — Jeremy
An infrared jade stone chair pad
You can secure this 23.5-inch heating pad to any chair using the included chair strap or apply it directly to the area that is causing you pain, like your abdomen or shoulders. Its surface is covered with jade and tourmaline stones and a carbon fiber wire interior helps to generate negative ions and emit pain-relieving infrared heat. Promising review:
"I replaced my outdated heating pad with a UTK jade stone infrared heating pad, and what a difference! It penetrates deep into the aching muscles in my lower back and relieves my inflammation in a relaxing gentle way. My husband’s job involves heavy lifting so he too is benefiting from the jade stone technology." — Nidnusecila
A contouring back support with heat
The ergonomic and contoured design of this back support attachment improves posture and uses soothing heat to relieve pain, increase blood flow, promote circulation, and accelerate healing. It features six heat settings and a two-hour automatic shut-off setting.Promising review:
"I bought this to help with my lower back pain at work. I now sit at a desk for most of my day but have always had issues with my back. This definitely helps me not hurt so much. I love that I can control it in so many ways." — Amber4804
A portable massaging seat cushion
Great for the car or an existing office chair, this plush massage cushion is equipped with full seat and back-warming therapy and six precise vibrational massage modes that can target specific areas of the back and legs at four varying intensities. The no-slip back also ensures that the cushion stays secure while in use. Promising review:
"My wife and I both spend A LOT of time driving, so having this in each of our vehicles is SO nice. By the end of the day, the tension from driving starts to bother my back so I turn on the heat mode to get some relief. The vibrations of the seat just kind of help relax my muscles a bit so I can make it home with a little less pain. I like that it isn't as bulky as my shiatsu massage cushion. It also stays in place pretty well and I don't really worry about accidentally pulling it out of my car with me when I get out. The auto shut-off function is my lifesaver because I'm the kind to mindlessly leave it on for hours at a time otherwise and be burning up and not think a thing about it!" — Fabian L
A reclining game chair with ottoman
This reclining therapy chair can easily transition from the office to living room using the matching ottoman, which is also integrated with the same massaging and heating function as the rest of the chair — all of which can be operated using the included remote control. The chair also features a swivel seat that adjusts to your weight, an integrated headrest and plush arm rests.Promising review:
"Helps my husband's bad back." — JudithPromising review:
"We get a lot of compliments on this chair. I bought it for my husband to relieve his back at the end of the day. I originally wanted to place it in our RV that has a slide-out but my husband likes having it at home. We have had the chair for some time now and it has held up to my two grandkids using it as well as other family members. The price was great too!" — Carrie
An ergonomic and faux leather office chair
This full swivel executive chair has a recessed lumbar and segmented padding to hug the back and provide spinal support and can recline up to 120 degrees. It also offers a six-point heating function and vibrating massage which can be controlled using a remote. Promising review:
"These chair is a big relief to my back. I am so glad l got it. I definitely recommend it especially if you have back problems. It also helps when seating for a long time." — Rachel
A soft and portable heated seat cushion
Constructed of both a high-density foam for better support and low-density foam for comfort, this portable seat cushion can deliver up to nine hours of heat per charge through strategically placed heating panels.Promising review:
"I didn't expect this to get very hot, but it actually does. I suffer from something called 'Failed Back Surgery Syndrome', which is just as painful as it sounds!!! And I'm sure it's one of the reasons people avoid back surgery. In my case, it causes excruciating pain in my 'sits bones' (which is a real thing) right at the point where the top of my thigh meets the bottom of my butt. I sit on a heating pad when I'm at home but I'm looking to go back to work and didn't want to be tethered to an outlet. This solution works GREAT! I highly recommend it to anybody who has similar issues." — Lawrence Blackhurst
A heated lumbar support pillow
Designed to look like a regular pillow, this heated and conforming cushion can help provide soothing lumbar support and heat therapy to other areas of the body like the neck and abdomen. It has three heat and timer settings and a machine washable pillowcase. Promising review:
"Suffer with lower back and nerve pain. This thing has been a Godsend. Use it every day." — Kindle customerPromising review:
"Gave this to my mom for her lower back pain. Works great because it stays in place and has an adjustable heat and timer." — LTaira
A zero gravity leaning recliner
Enjoy all of the comforts of a La-Z-Boy style recliner with the added benefit of a heating lumbar element and full array of massage modes and rhythm functions. In addition to the adjustable foot rest, this chair also has a zero gravity forward lifting to function to make getting out of the recliner easier. Promising review:
"Great chair for the price. Massage isn’t as intense as I’d hoped but it works well to get the muscles loose. I got this for my husband as a birthday gift because he always gets home with back pain. He loved it. Would also be great for elderly who need to get out of bed but still be comfortable. Super easy to set up and the quality of the chair is great." — Ruth