Blog Science Alleviate Lower-Back Pain with These 4 At-Home Therapies 
Alleviate Lower-Back Pain with These 4 At-Home Therapies 
Alleviate Lower-Back Pain with These 4 At-Home Therapies 

Authors: Therabody Scientists: Tim Roberts, MSc; Kyle Silvey, PhD, CSCS; Michelle Darian, MS, MPH, RD, LDN 

Lower back pain (the type concentrated between your lower ribs and pelvis) affects nearly 619 million people across the globe. [1] And there’s no one cause of this pain. It could be from a combination of several factors, including nerve compression, general wear and tear, muscle weakness, poor posture, lack of physical activity, past injuries, or even stress. [2]  

If you experience low back pain, you may be worried that engaging in certain movements or trying certain treatments may lead to more pain rather than a resolution. You may also be fatigued from trying different treatments, such as medications, stretches, and ergonomic chairs, with little avail.   

Fortunately, many effective and efficient at-home solutions deliver science-backed therapies you can lean on for support. Here, we’ll dive into four science-backed therapies aimed at alleviating lower back pain and the Therabody ® products that best harness those modalities — so you can get back to feeling and moving like your best, most limber self.  

1. Heat Therapy Can Alleviate Pain Through Improved Blood Flow 

    Most households likely have a heating pad of sorts that has helped family members through period cramps and others calm an aching back. Heat therapy has been used to provide some much-needed pain relief since ancient times, piquing the interest of scientists to study its healing abilities.  

    When heat is applied to the skin, the blood vessels expand and dilate. This improves blood flow to the treatment area, relaxes muscles, and reduces feelings of pain. [3] In fact, a 2021 review found that treating mild, acute back pain early with heat therapy may help prevent it from progressing to chronic pain. [4]   

    2. Infrared LED Light Therapy Can Improve Circulation and Decrease Pain Perception 

    Like heat therapy, infrared — especially near-infrared — light therapy also creates a calming, warming sensation on the skin. This can help reduce chronic back pain by improving circulation and relaxing tight muscles. [5

    Infrared LED light therapy can also lessen your pain perception. You feel lower-back pain because nerves in that area signal to your brain that you are indeed in pain. However, near-infrared light therapy may inhibit those pain signals, release endorphins (the feel-good hormones), and significantly lessen your pain. [5

    3. Vibration and Percussive Therapy Can Break Apart Built-Up Fascia to Alleviate Pain 

    Vibration and percussive therapy are two other treatments that can help alleviate lower back pain. Both therapies can help muscles relax and break apart built-up fascia (which is responsible for limiting blood flow, leading to trigger points, and compressing nerves). These therapies can also help improve blood circulation. 

    • Vibration: Vibration therapy gently applies pressure to the body’s tissue to relax muscles. Local vibration therapy has been found to increase local blood flow and tissue oxygenation, making vibration therapy an option for sensitive treatment areas like a sore back. [6]  
    • Percussive: Percussive therapy utilizes rapid, targeted pulses to penetrate deeper into the muscle than vibration therapy to release tension from deep within (that may be hard to access with vibration or through a traditional massage). It’s also great for treating the areas of the body that are near the source of pain — which often become tight and sore themselves as they pick up the slack of other sore muscles. [7

    4. Combining Heat, Infrared Light, and Vibration Therapy May Expedite Treatment Benefits 

    Recent scientific innovation allows multiple treatment modalities known to alleviate pain to be used in tandem in a single device. When multiple therapies (like heat and vibration) are used simultaneously, they can work synergistically to address pain.   

    Research confirms that combining treatment modalities into a single treatment can result in larger treatment benefits than using one alone. One study found that combining heat therapy and vibration therapy resulted in larger improvements in flexibility than heat or vibration alone compared to baseline. [8] 

    Therabody Products to Address Lower Back Pain  

    There is not one best way to address lower back pain; people tend to gravitate to different modalities and products. Because Therabody offers a variety of science-backed solutions, you are more likely to find one that can help alleviate your discomfort in a way that works best for you.  

    Portable, Temperature-Controlled Heat Therapy 

    RecoveryTherm Cube ® is a powerful device that delivers heat (and cold therapy) for targeted pain relief. Place it directly on the part of your back that requires treatment, and secure it with the band. This device may be for you if there’s a very specific part of your lower back that bothers you and if cold therapy also piques your interest in reducing inflammation and swelling.  

    Wearable Heat + Vibration Therapy 

    RecoveryTherm Back should be your top pick if you’re ready to retire the heating pad that quickly goes from being far too hot to cooling off completely. This is a wearable device that provides targeted, temperature-controlled heat and vibration therapy to your entire lower back. And you’re not tethered to an outlet or a spot on the couch, so you can fit this treatment in at the dinner table, while washing dishes, or even putting the kids to bed.   

    Gentle Percussive Therapy 

    Theragun Relief ® is a comfortable and light massage gun that provides percussive therapy for everyday aches, pains, and stiffness — including for the lower back. It offers three speeds and three scientifically-designed attachments to target different areas of the body. If you’re looking for a quality all-around massage gun, this is it.  

    All-in-One: Heat + Infrared Light + Percussive Therapy 

    Theragun PRO Plus is a massage gun that can truly do it all. It relieves pain and soreness while helping to repair tissue and improve mobility with the help of percussive, heat, vibration, and infrared light. If you’re an athlete or a highly active person experiencing back pain, this is the product for you.  

    *This article provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information provided in this article and any linked materials are not intended for and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  

    Key Takeaways: 

    • Lower back pain is a common and persistent problem people face at any age.  
    • There are science-backed, at-home therapies that can relieve this pain without medications or prescriptions.  
    • Heat, near-infrared light, vibration, and percussive therapies are all effective ways to alleviate lower back pain, and combining therapies may enhance effectiveness.  
    • Therabody offers a variety of products that deliver one or more of these therapies at a time.