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Yahoo! Life: Practical Solutions for Back Pain

Yahoo! Life recently interviewed Christopher Wolf, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute, about tools that can help alleviate chronic back pain, which affects half of all Americans.

Wolf told the website that individuals suffering from back pain symptoms should get evaluated by a physician or physical therapist who can pinpoint the source of the problem and form a care plan. Treatment often involves stretching, strengthening, and ice and heat therapy that should be continued at home.

To further that recovery routine, Wolf recommended several products that patients can use at home:

  • A posture-correcting shirt that shifts the back and shoulder blades into the proper position relieving stress on the spine.
  • An elastic stretch strap to "stretch out your hamstrings, which helps your pelvis and back muscles relax," Wolf said. A stability ball for core-strengthening exercises such as planks, and to aid in stretching.
  • A balance-ball chair that improves posture by engaging the pelvis, making it impossible to slouch.
  • Ankle weights for lateral leg raises and hip extensions that can help strengthen the glutes, which tend to weaken in individuals with lower back pain.
  • A foam roller to loosen a tight IT band, the long piece of connective tissue that runs from hip to knee and can indirectly contribute to back pain, Wolf said. Lying on one's side and rolling the thigh over the dense foam helps to release tight tissue.

Click here to read the complete article on Yahoo! Life