As gift-giving season approaches, how about dropping some hints for gifts that could give your back a break?

Try upgrading your regular office chair to an ergonomic office chair this holiday season.
Choosing the Right Ergonomic Office Chair

Here are 11 ideas to get you started:

  1. Specialty pillows. A good night's sleep can be a challenge with back pain. Add a wedge-shaped pillow or a body pillow to your wish list to help get the sleep you need.
  2. See Different Types of Pillows

  3. Gel cushions. Prevent pain and stiffness by adding a gel seat to any seat that aggravates your back pain. If you need a cushion to bring with you to religious services or events, ask for the type of compact gel cushion designed for use in a car.
  4. Canes and supports. You know it's important to move around, but walking or standing may be painful. A cane that converts to a small seat with a tripod base could help you venture farther, since you'll know you can stop and rest for a while. If your gift-giver has a big budget, a walker with a padded seat could be another option.
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  1. Swivel car seat. Getting in and out of a car can be uncomfortable when you have back pain. A swivel car seat cushion uses a turntable base to avoid all that painful twisting.

    See Office Chair, Posture, and Driving Ergonomics

  2. Lending a hand. A homemade gift certificate for baby-sitting, snow-shoveling, or a minor home repair is always a welcome gift.
  3. Ergonomic workstation. If you're spending hours at the computer, a seemingly small shift to an ergonomic mouse or keyboard may make a big difference.

    See Ten Tips for Improving Posture and Ergonomics

  4. Exercise or relaxation DVDs. Getting to a class can be a chore if your back hurts, making DVDs for home use a helpful gift. Ask for DVDs of gentle exercises designed for people with back pain or DVDs demonstrating relaxation and meditation techniques to find what works best for you.

    See Exercise and Back Pain

  5. Household helpers. Simple gadgets can often make life easier. If you can't reach to put on your socks, ask for a sock aid, to make the process easier. An extra-long shoehorn—about 24 inches long—can complete your morning routine. And if you don't have a grabber or reacher for picking up things on high or low shelves, add this handy device to your list.
  6. Heating pad. These longtime favorites come in more shapes and have more features than ever, making this a good time to ask for an upgrade. Some weighted heating pads conform to the neck and back for widespread pain relief. Other pads come with a massaging feature.

    See How to Apply Heat Therapy

  7. Bath and shower aids. A long shower or bath can take the edge off back pain. To make things even more comfortable, ask for a padded shower seat or a bath pillow.
  8. Restaurant gift cards. Cooking can be tough on the back. Wouldn't it be nice to call up a restaurant that delivers and pay for it with your gift card?

    See Food for Thought: Diet and Nutrition for a Healthy Back

Some of these items may be hard to find in the stores where you usually shop. Searching online for "mobility aids" may be your best bet.

Learn more:

Understanding Chronic Pain

Types of Back Pain: Acute Pain, Chronic Pain, and Neuropathic Pain