Believe it or not, the vast majority of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Typically, this pain manifests in the lower back, and it can be caused by a variety of reasons, many of which have to do with the modern sedentary lifestyle. For example, slouching at your desk, sitting for long periods, not exercising and being overweight are all contributing factors. Back pain can also be caused by bursts of physical activity, such as heavy lifting or playing sports.

If your back pain is long and acute, it is possible that there is a more serious cause, such as a tear or osteoporosis. In that case, you should consult your doctor. If you suspect that your back pain has less severe origins, however, there are several courses of action you can take. One of them is acupuncture.

The science behind acupuncture has been debated ad nauseam, but one thing is clear: Acupuncture has been shown to be the most effective when treating back pain. It should come as no surprise then that back pain is the most common reason people elect acupuncture. This form of traditional Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years, and practitioners have identified several spots on the human body one must target to combat lower back pain. These include points on the back of the knees, feet, lower back, hips and stomach. Acupuncture points that help the upper back include the neck, shoulders, head and upper back. Inserting needles into the correct areas will rearrange the body’s qi, or life force, in a healthier and more balanced way.

If you have a fear of needles that prevents you from seeking acupuncture, do not worry. There are still many treatment options available to you, most notably those of a massage. Massage comes in several types, such as shiatsu, deep tissue massage and Swedish massage, and each of these applies pressure in ways that alleviate back pain. If you have a spouse or partner, they can try out some of the common methods on you so you can avoid paying a professional masseuse.

One of the most popular techniques (the one you always see in the movies) involves extending both of your hands and placing them one on top of the other near the area of the back you want to target. Then make circular motions to smooth out the muscles. Another technique involves making circles but using just your thumbs, gradually moving from the mid-back down to the waist. There is also “knuckling,” or rubbing the back with your hands balled up into fists. You can find detailed videos on the correct order and intensity of these motions on YouTube.

If you do not have anyone in your life willing to put their hands on your back, and you also do not want to visit a professional acupuncturist or massage therapist, there is still one thing you can do. You can invest in a NAIPO oPillow back massager. This new piece of technology reinvents the traditional pillow massager. Affix it to just about any office chair, and it will apply palm pressure therapy to both your upper and lower back. It features a smart control panel that allows you to personalize it to target specific muscle groups, and it employs heat therapy technology to give off a steady, cozy temperature. Even when you are not working, you can use the oPillow at home while lying down on the couch. If there is any lesson to be learned from experiencing back pain, it is that there are many ways to treat it. NAIPO is happy to help.

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