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Neck Traction Device

6 Tools that Helped Improve Physical Well-being and Reduce Pain

September 06, 20237 min read

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As someone who has dealt with injuries and periods of chronic pain starting in my twenties, I have found many therapeutic tools that have alleviated my pain. I prefer natural treatments and I avoid use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine. Some of my favorite tools below include recommendations from professionals I've seen over the years, including massage therapists, a chiropractor, and personal trainer. Other products are my favorite winners after testing out various types. If you want to alleviate chronic pain symptoms and improve your physical well-being consider trying these tools. Bookmark this to reference as you create your own collection of at-home treatment tools.

Melt Method

1. MELT Hand & Foot Therapy Ball Kit. Sue Hitzmann is the creator and bestselling author of the MELT Method. Her treatment methods gave me much-needed relief when I was suffering from chronic pain in my late twenties. I gained a deeper understanding of our connective tissue and lymphatic system from her videos, and how to take better care of them. I recommend checking out her various interviews on YouTube. In one of them she was asked if there was only one treatment she could do each day what would it be? Her answer was using one of the foot treatments to support the lymphatic system, and it only takes one minute. Just 60 seconds to better support such an important system in our bodies.

I have enjoyed using the MELT Method therapy ball kit very regularly, and always travel with one in my luggage. I even used the MELT Method hand exercises with my mother when she was recovering from a stroke and working to regain mobility in her hand. I believe that doing the exercises and having improved circulation in that hand helped aid in her recovery. I also enjoy using the dense treatment ball for trigger points in my upper back when used against a wall. Providing TLC to my connective tissue and lymphatic system has had such a positive impact on my overall well-being.

TAG Store Trigger Point Tool

2. The TAG Store's Trigger Point Massager Tool. Relieve knots and trigger points with this soft treatment tool. I bought my tool several years ago when a massage therapist recommended it to me, and this product looks most similar to the one I have. When working on aggravated areas I love that the silicone material can provide firm pressure while being gentler than other tools. It conveniently sticks to a wall for easier treatment in an upright position, allowing easy control of the applied pressure.

Guasha Tool

3. Guasha Muscle Scraper. Gua translates to scraping, and sha translates to petechiae, which is the redness that can occur while scraping the tool across your skin. There are many tutorials on how to use the tool correctly to avoid doing harm. My understanding is the intent is to use light pressure, and that the redness it can cause is indicative of facial adhesions. Running the tool across those areas will stimulate blood flow, another reason for the redness. Where I have the most redness tends to be areas related to my past injuries, where my movement feel most restricted. A massage therapist recommended that I try this tool, and you might be able to find a therapist near you that can perform guasha treatments. The therapist I see owns a metal guasha tool, and I opted for a multi-tool set that has multiple shapes. My favorite of them is shaped like this one. If using this tool on your face or neck use very light pressure on delicate skin as advised in tutorials.

Restcloud Cervical Traction Device

4. Cervical Traction Device for neck pain relief. Somehow I injured myself in my sleep! I woke up one morning and could not move my head away from neutral without extreme pain. A vertebrae in my neck shifted in my sleep and pinched a nerve. This likely happened when I was sleeping on my back and my head tilted too far to the right. After several months of chiropractic treatment I was still having pain and range of motion issues. I asked my chiropractor for any recommended tools I could use regularly at home to help in my recovery.  She recommended the Restcloud Cervical Traction Device and uses it herself. It has really helped relieve my neck pain. She advised to start with only a couple minutes at a time, and work up to ten minutes. This same product was highly recommended by a friend of mine who uses it to relieve their neck pain.

Sports Stable Treatment Tools for Muscles

5. Sports Stable High Density Foam Manual Massage Ball Set. This set includes two tools, a round ball, and a peanut-shaped tool. I find that this high-density foam works well for isolated problem spots for me. My personal trainer recommended this kit to me and it has been a great addition to my treatment tools. According to my chiropractor, when you have multiple trigger points in an area the whole area can feel tender. If the other tools above are too targeted and causing too much pain, I like to try a larger tool like the high density ball to spread the pressure across a larger treatment area. Tight and tender areas often contribute to my headaches. With all of these tools, when I relieve tender spots I will often feel my headache disappear with treatment.

Gaiam Foam Roller

6. Foam Rollers. I have had multiple foam rollers over the years with varying densities. I own a few different Gaiam products that have held up really well, including the Gaiam Restore Compact Foam Roller available here. If the time comes for me to replace my larger foam roller the Gaiam Essentials Foam Roller would be my choice.  I also have a Tiger Tail foam roller that really helps when I need a denser surface for treating my legs. Honestly, it's usually too brutal to use on my tight IT band, but I can just about tolerate it on my quads or hamstrings where I have more control of the pressure applied. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the MELT Method mentioned earlier offers a soft foam roller and it is softer than any foam roller I've ever seen in a store. The reason for the softness is to treat the connective tissue, whereas standard foam rollers will go deeper and treat the underlying muscle.

An important action for improving well-being and relieving pain is a simple yet easily overlooked habit: hydration! Be sure to have proper hydration daily. It really makes a difference in my pain levels.  If I’m dehydrated and my connective tissue or muscles are getting more restricted, this is more likely to cause me to get a headache or feel like I have restricted movement and tightness throughout my body. Ask your doctor what amount of daily fluid is best for you and if you should supplement with electrolytes. The amount needed may vary based on your daily activities and even the weather. Be aware that some of the tools above are described to release toxins.  You’ll want to flush those out of your system with enough fluids. Whenever using the tools above I like to hydrate before and after use, so that there is fluid to circulate during treatment, and fluid after to flush out any potential toxins.

Being trained in mechanical engineering I always hope to find the root cause of any issue and work to resolve it. Having studied gears and pulleys, and machine maintenance, I often looks at our body through that lens. It is always my goal to resolve the cause of chronic pain to prevent it from reoccurring. Where some areas are a bit more stubborn from my past injuries and surgeries, the tools listed above have been so helpful in my self-care routine. Of course I would love to get a massage anytime something needs treatment, but that's a bit unrealistic for my needs. Instead, these tools have enabled me to do at-home treatments on a regular basis. No need to wait for an appointment to get some relief. A one-time purchase of the tools above has provided me with much-needed relief as I need it. I hope these therapeutic tools will be just as helpful to you too! As this list has been curated over several years, perhaps these tools can be a shortcut to feeling your best.



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Beth Manteuffel

Beth Manteuffel is a sustainability and health enthusiast sharing knowledge from her professional work and personal life experiences.

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