Apps, like smartphones are a non-negotiable requirement in this age for a myriad of reasons ranging from the mundane to the invaluable.
A good example of an invaluable service that we can access via the help of an app is the back pain management. The world is a busier place than ever before, which means packed schedules that always keep us moving. This often results in some sort of body pain, with back pain being the most common. This trend has lent more importance to the services of professionals from chiropractors to gym instructors and the use of inversion tables, bench presses and the likes.
I’ve listed some apps that I believe from personal experience and research will offer some real value to anyone suffering from any form of back pain. These apps work on the Android and/or iOS platforms and the best part is that all of them are low cost or free.
1. My Pain Diary
This app is probably one of the most useful pain management apps I’ve ever come across.
Pain diary helps you track your pain (not just back pain) everyday. You simply choose from the preset options what kind of pain you are experiencing (back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia etc), the symptoms (fatigue, swelling, nausea), and the intensity (on a scale of 1 to 10 with explanations for each level). It also tracks the duration of the pain, its triggers (lack of sleep, stress, heavt lifting etc), the remedy (exercise, sleep, rest), etc. Making these entries everyday for a few weeks will mean that you will have gathered enough data to understand what the problem really is. You can also chose to represent these data in graph format as this may give you a clearer picture of how each factor affects the other.
Armed with this information, you may just have saved yourself and your doctor the stress of trying to explain what exactly is wrong with you. All the data in the pain diary can easily be printed into an easy to understand PDF format and handed to the doctor for better comprehension.
2. Down Dog App
Yoga has been known to improve energy levels, reduce stress levels, increase strenght, flexibility and a lot more.
This app, created by three top notch yoga instructors, can serve as your in-house yoga instructor if you feel typical yoga sessions are too expensive or you can’t find the time to attend one.
It’s got three sequences to choose from (full practice, on your feet and the restorative sequences), each with four difficulty levels with very explanatory graphics to show you exactly how to do each pose. You can customize the sequence, the session duration and the difficulty level you want to work with. And the app playlist is to die for! With carefully selected songs that match the intensity and rhythm of each workout, never play in the same order twice and are constantly updated, you’re sure to enjoy this app on account of the songs alone!
3. Web MD Pain Coach
This one is the Google/encyclopedia for all things body pain. The developers of this free app picked the brain of many professional and certified medical practitioners to give its users meaningful and actionable information and advice concerning any form of chronic pain under the sun. This amounts to about 588 tips approved by Web MD doctors and 379 articles covering all areas of chronic pain.
It also comes with a Pain Diary feature (no where near as good as the Pain Diary App) and a goal settings feature split into five different areas to help you get on top of your pain problems.
Who knew working could be so effective on back pain. Accupedo tracks how long you walk each day and how many steps you take during the walk.
It also takes record of the distance walked and the calories burned in the process. Like the Pain Diary app it also takes daily logs of these walks to provide you with a progress report. It can also show you this information in graph form while hitting you up with preset motivational quotes to yiur inbox everyday to get you up and walking.
5. PostureScreen Mobile
This one is a HIPAA compliant iOS app that was designed with chiropractors, fitness professionals and massage therapists in mind.
This helps these professionals facilitate accurate evaluation of clients/patients status during a session. PostureScreen helps to evaluate the clients in three areas: Posture, movement and body composition (analysis possible in 2D and 3D). After which the client is sent an email containing a secure link to his private portal where he can access the pre-selected corrective exercises unique to his situation. The rehabilitation resources come in form of still images a videos showing exactly what needs to be done.
6. Backache App
Sitting for a long time — for whatever reason can prove damaging to your spine, that is why the backache app promotes posture fluidity to help you avoid the dangers that come with staying in one position for too long.
You simply load in your schedule for the day, indicating a start and stop time. The app then alerts you each time you need to take a micro break. It also prescribes different exercises for different micro break durations (20, 40, 60 minutes etc) to help you stretch your muscles, optimise blood circulation, stimulate your nerves and ease the built up tension in your body. There are 30 exercises in total prescribed by a certified physiotherapist. Each exercise comes in video format where the physio shows you himself how to perform each exercise.
7. iREHAB Back Pain
This iOS app offers a simplistic and proactive approach to chronic back pain problems. You simply answer pre-selected questions (questions are selected by medical professionals) concerning your back pain. Your answers to these questions will determine the exercises that make it into the customised list of corrective measures that will be presented to you. You could also chose to ditch that and select from the pre-made programs page instead. Either way, you’ll be privy to a catalogue of solutions in still image and video format for comprehensive understanding and safety. All exercises in this app are designed to target and eliminate muscle imbalances that would otherwise cause pain and improper posture.