I bet you sit in front of your screens some long hours a day. To some extent, I think, everyone of us does.
Good news for us, screen-starers: New Zealand physiotherapist Steve August has developed a solution for the hunched-back ‘syndrome’ and named it The Backpod.
But what is this little guy? Let’s discover its features and drawbacks, see how it really performs, not just on TV.
So fellows with upper back pain & neck pain or costochondritis, do pay close attention. Let’s dive in and walk through this review together.
Overview of The Backpod upper back pain relief device
You’ll definitely like these
- Can be used for upper back pain, costochondritis and asthma
- Easy to carry around, great portability
- Works for most people with upper back pain
But you won’t like these
- A bit pricey, still, very good cost-benefit ratio
As you may know, costochondritis is an illness caused by your tight rib joints. Caused by all-day-long hunched sitting posture, this illness is becoming quite popular among city-dwellers.
So what’s the problem with the hunched over posture?
As you’re bending over a desk for hours, you’ll notice that you eventually need to raise your head back on, and squeeze the muscles of your spine, just right at your neck. This’ll either make your neck or upper back (or in some cases, your chest) hurt, or even cause migraine attacks.
The Backpod allows you to stretch out all the stiffness caused by the hunched over sitting position. Lazy bones over there. Come on, and snap open a bottle of beer since I’ve got good news for you: you don’t need much effort to relieve your pain with The Backpod.
Covered with a thick rubber outer shell and built up from a hard polycarbonate core, this little device is something extremely durable. You think that you’re too overweight for even that? Don’t think so. Actually, the Backpod was weight tested under a Jeep Cherokee. Enough said.
What kind of illnesses does The Backpod address?
Anyone suffering of:
- Upper back pain
- Neck pain
- Chest pain
- Chronic asthma
- and of course Costochondritis
…should consider the usage of The Backpod.
Most of the time doing daily stretching routines also help, but only to some extent.
Don’t misunderstand me: doing exercises and maintaining the physical strength of your back is also extremely important. But these routines won’t do the magic only if you realize your illness in time. If you don’t (which is likely for most), don’t expect exercises to help you that much.
Costochondritis is a serious illness which needs to take care of as soon as it’s diagnosed. The unfortunate thing though, is that most doctors treat it as a common thing, which can be fought with the fruitless efforts an Ibuprofen shot can give. Albeit I’m no doc, I made thorough research and can confidently state that this is completely untrue.
I hear you, when you’re screaming out in pain caused by costo. Although I’ve haven’t had it (yet), still I know it’s a very serious illness. Good thing is that using the Backpod allows you not even just to recover from costo, but stay pain free without any medication.
And this is the reason I don’t complain about the price tag. It’s around $80, but can you show me any long time treatment or medication that is cheaper than that?
How to use The Backpod? The proper way
It’s simple. You put it down on a flat surface, use a support pillow under your neck if needed, and lie down on it with your upper back. Like the True Back or the Spine Worx device, Backpod also works on the principle of letting gravity do its thing. This way, it:
- aligns your vertebrae
- release stiffness from your muscles.
To start using it, warm up a little bit with neck and arm circling. If you’re done with that, do the following:
- Start your first exercises with stacking up 3 pillows right below your neck and head. This way, the first time tension won’t be that invasive to your spine.
- Sit down on the floor (or on a carpet) and bend up your knees. Keep your feet on the ground
- Place the pod so that it lies lengthwise between your 2 shoulder blades
- Slowly lie down on the pod
- Place your hands behind your head as you’re lying, and relax for 30-60 seconds. (You might possibly feel some discomfort at this point, but try to keep at it. Take long, deep breaths.)
- Every 60 seconds, change position of the pod up and down 2 inches on your spine (Take note here: Don’t go up as high as your neck or as low as the bottom of your ribcage)
For first time painers: I urge you to do it as slow as possible. Think of the whole exercise as a relaxation activity. Don’t rush, because you can hurt yourself.
Do the exercise for around 5 minutes and as you get used to the feeling, you can raise this to 10 minutes. (I suggest you to do that in the second week though) Also, it’s important to do this routine on most days of the week, because that’s how you can reach the system’s full potential.
As you feel more comfortable using the Backpod, you can gradually decrease the number of pillows stacked below your neck. This makes stretches stronger. As soon as you feel constant pain in your back though, put one pillow back, and continue exercising with that height. Again, patience is key here.
Anyway, our goal is to be able to do the exercise with no pillows at all without feeling any discomfort.
Don’t use the Backpod:
- In bed, or on any other too soft surfaces
- For children (their bones are fully flexible)
- Osteoporosis and osteopenia (or with extreme caution)
- Scheuermann’s Osteochondritis (if in inflammatory phase)
- Straight or concave middle and upper backs (as it might not be effective)
The perfect companion
Honestly, I don’t give biased reviews on any of my reviewed products. Nor do I receive products from vendors to give positive feedback on them.
But there are times when there’s so much good to tell about a product.
One of the great advantages of The Backpod is that it’s easily portable. Yes. You don’t need to live without it, even in your office, or on vacation. It weighs only 1.2 pounds so there’s no reason not to take it with you on any stay-away.
You can even use it in your car: just slip it between your upper back and the car seat, and you’re good to go. (Of course, this exercise won’t be that efficient, as home routines. Still, worth a try)
Another benefit of August’s invention is that it can be used while you’re under chiropractic treatment. In fact, if the treatment hasn’t helped you enough, there’s high chance you need to try The Backpod.
Because even a chiropractor isn’t able to release a tightened spine effectively enough.
Some weak points of The Backpod
As you have seen, the Backpod is something really helpful for those suffering of upper back pain and costochondritis.
For the vast majority, it worked wonders.
Still, many customers complain about the price. And that the Backpod is just a piece of plastic, covered with rubber. Sad thing that even whose pain has been entirely addressed complain.
They might be right, it’s no cheap for a piece of plastic and rubber. But come on people.
First of all: if this is the only thing on Earth that really heals your costochondritis compared to treatments, medication and other back pain devices, why complain? Why not just be happy with it?
Secondly: it’s not just a piece of plastic. It’s designed carefully by a chiropractor with 30 years of experience healing costochondritis.
Third: you need only 10 minutes a day to maintain pain-free state.
Again, enough said.
The Backpod is some neat little device made to relieve pain caused by costochondritis (and not to mention chest or neck pain).
It’s lightweight, so you can easily take it with you anywhere.
Although not being the cheapest on the market, The Backpod is still something that has a great cost benefit ratio, compared to long-going treatments at chiropractors and taking medication.
If you’re suffering of upper back pain, I can highly recommend this product for you.
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