I Sit in a Chair All Day and This $30 Amazon Find Is the Only At-Home Tool That Helps Alleviate My Back Pain (Plus, It’s on Sale for Prime Day)

updated Oct 11, 2022
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I was never blessed with being very flexible — bending down and touching my toes is still a goal on my bucket list. So during the early days of the pandemic, when I worked in a desk chair for 10-11 hours a day and spent the rest of it relatively sedentary, my neck, upper back and lower back started protesting. I didn’t feel safe enough yet to get a massage, so I turned to social media for potential solutions and stumbled upon the Prosource Fit Acupressure Mat on Amazon.

Before 2021, I had never tried anything having to do with acupuncture. The idea of being stuck by needles terrified me, but this “spike mat” made me reconsider. There are almost 8,000 pressure points in both the mat and neck pillow. The spikes are meant to help loosen tight muscles, increase circulation, and stimulate nerves. The reviews and the price tag really sold me on on it — the mat is only $25 and it’s frequently on sale at Amazon (though unfortunately not at this exact moment). Now, it has more than 41,000 reviews and a 4.3-star rating.

“… the tension relief is real!” A reviewer wrote, “My back and shoulders are noticeably looser after a session on the stabby mat. Yes, it’s cheap and has a small learning curve to figure out how to lie down without scraping yourself. If you can handle that, this mat-o-doom may be an affordable path to pain relief!”

I immediately clicked “add to cart” and got the mat in the fall of 2021. I have a decent pain tolerance, but I did wear a thin shirt and shorts to try out the mat for the first time. You do have to gingerly lower yourself down, and as other reviewers note, the first 3-5 minutes are unpleasant. In fact, this mat has been affectionally nicknamed as a torture device in my apartment. However, once my muscles start to adjust to the plastic spikes, I enter an almost meditative-like state. As an anxious person, this is a feat to find both mental and physical relief at the same time. After 15-20 minutes, I’ll awkwardly find a way to roll off of the mat. The spikes do leave red marks in my skin for about 10 minutes, and my back is warm to the touch.

Once I start moving around my house, I notice that the majority of the tension from my neck, upper back, and lower back has disappeared. I don’t feel any back pain and I feel more flexible. When I was training for the half-marathon earlier this year, I worked this mat into my exercise routine, and it was a crucial part of keeping me loose after long runs. Of course, there’s nothing like going to a professional to help with back pain, but if you’re looking for a supplementary tool to use at home, I would highly recommend it for anyone who is fighting WFH stiffness.

Buy: ProsourceFit Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set, $25.15 (normally $29.99)