If you're anything like me, your smartphone has become your own personal assistant. No matter what you need-there's an app for that. So, why not let your smartphone help you with your back pain and neck pain too? I loaded some of the more popular back and neck apps onto my smartphone, and decided these were my personal favorites due to their ease of use and interesting features. Hopefully they'll help you too!
Manage My Pain Lite
This free app designed for use with Android devices allows users to keep detailed track of chronic pain using highly customizable worksheets. Reviewers of the app especially loved the app because it helped provide evidence to their doctors, friends, and even insurance companies of their chronic pain. The personal information you enter helps you gain insight to your condition through statistics, charts, graphs, and calendar views.
My Pain Diary
This is the app for you if you are tracking your pain symptoms to check for any triggers or patterns. Available for free on the iPhone, this app has positive customer reviews, and it won a Web Health award in spring of 2012. The app prompts you to record the location and type of pain as well as the trigger and remedy. It keeps track of the history of your pain, and even graphs your pain so you can discover pain patterns.
- Looking for more information about chronic pain? Visit the Spine-health Chronic Pain Information Center.
BackCare for Back Pain and Bad Back
This app designed for the iPhone is perfect for the information junky - and it's free! The fact sheets in the app give tips for how to cycle, drive, exercise, sit in the office, etc. with back pain. There's also an impressive list of exercises designed to keep your back pain free and strong. The app also includes a physician directory (for the UK, but not the US), a pain diary, and videos. This app was developed by BackCare, a charity in the UK whose only focus is to reduce the impact of back pain on society. They claim to have had input from the country's best spine care specialists.
- Searching for a spine physician in the US? Check out our database of certified spine health professionals.
Healthy Back Workouts - a series of 3 apps
Available on both iTunes and on Google Play for Androids, this is a series of 3 apps designed to help you achieve a healthy supple back and neck by doing practical exercises. Each app is currently available at a reduced price of $1.99. The three apps in the series are Neck and Upper Back, Strong Spine and Core, and Posture & Lower Back.
The exercises recommended by the author, who is a chiropractor, are grouped by beginner, intermediate, advanced, or by muscle area. This app stands out because of the sheer volume of exercise ideas and because it uses picture of real people and interesting anatomical pictures. The exercises are easy to follow due to the step-by-step photos and detailed instructions.
Yoga for Back Pain Relief
This app introduces Yoga stretches and exercises drawn from traditional hatha yoga designed to keep your back young and supple. I am not a huge Yoga fan myself, but the animated exercises with voice instructions were easy to follow, and it did feel like they would make my back stronger. The app costs $2.99. Android devices have many Yoga options, but I couldn’t find any specifically for back pain.
- For doctor-reviewed information on yoga for back pain, see Yoga for Back Problems and Healing Benefits of Yoga
Please use these apps wisely. A few safety reminders:
- Always consult with your physician before starting any exercise program
- Doing any exercises correctly is usually difficult without the expertise of a physical therapist, chiropractor, physiatrist, or other health professional with knowledge of both the spine and of your specific condition(s)
What did I miss? What is your favorite app for helping you deal with back and neck pain?