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Daniel, 35, is a Site Manager at a construction company who lives with his wife and his four-year-old son. Two years ago, he started experiencing regular sharp pains in his lower back that have increased in frequency since. He lives with an active child who likes to play a lot, and it bothers him that he has to take regular breaks from playing football together in order to give his back a rest.

When trialling To Better Days’ active patches, Daniel was delighted to notice they were very discreet, easy to apply and painless to remove. Each day he wears a To Better Days patch he notices a marked improvement to his pain levels.

My name is Daniel. I am 35 years old and live with my wife and my four-year-old son, Harley. My chronic back pain started four years ago, when I began experiencing sharp, shooting pains in my lower back. The sharp pain can transform into a lingering, achy pain that can last for a couple of hours. Initially the back pain hit me once a week, but nowadays I’m in pain almost daily.

My work history is in construction. I used to do more manual work, but now my role is managerial. At work I’m on my feet a lot and as long as I’m standing up or moving around, my back is mainly okay. It’s when I’m sitting down, kneeling or playing around with my kid that the lower back pain tends to kick in.

Parenting with Pain

My son, Harley, is four years old and he needs a lot of attention. He’s an active child who needs to keep busy and wants to play a lot. Now that we’re all at home more, we like to play football in the garden or go to the park next to our house to feed the ducks and see the horses. But after 15-20 minutes of playing, my back pain starts hurting and I need to lie down for five minutes to get some relief.

I used to play sports, including rugby and football, before Harley came along, but once you have a child you just can’t really keep that up. Now, with my back pain, I’m not sure if I could still do sports even if I wanted to. Instead I’m sticking to our sessions in the park, which I very much enjoy!

Looking for Solutions

When my lower back pain first started, my wife told me it must be my kidneys that were causing it. For a while I tried drinking a lot of water in order to hydrate more, but it didn’t make a difference. I asked a friend of ours who is a physio to have a look, and he confirmed that it wasn’t my kidneys that were the problem: it was my lower back. I proceeded with six weeks of physio massages, which were definitely relaxing but not very effective.

To manage the pain, I tend to use strong diclofenac and ibuprofen gels, which I apply first thing in the morning and sometimes reapply during the day. They aren’t 100% effective, but work around 65% of the time. I’m aware that they don’t solve the problem, but as long as my back pain remains undefined there’s not much else I can do about it.

Heat Patches vs To Better Days Patches

Over the course of the last two years, I also tried various heat patches including Cura-Heat patches, ThermaCare and Salonpas. At the start of 2020 I participated in a product trial for To Better Days patches, which work directly on the nerves and muscles with a combination of vitamin D and dextrose.

When compared to the clunky heat pads, I really liked To Better Days patches. They are a lot smaller, easy to apply and don’t leave any debris on my skin when you take them off. When I participated in the product trial, I used one daily for a couple of weeks; every day I applied them they soothed my pain to some extent. The effects were much more consistent than those of the gels that I’d use otherwise.

Underlying Causes of My Back Pain

In terms of what’s affecting my back pain, I imagine that stress and lack of sleep are part of the problem. I do get stressed with work a lot – the projects I’m managing are continuing under the lockdown, just with fewer people – and I’m not a very good sleeper, which means that I’m constantly tired. I tend to fall asleep within seconds, then wake up two hours later unable to sleep anymore. I just end up tossing and turning all night. I’ve tried everything under the sun to help with these sleeping problems, but to no avail, so far.

I’m grateful for To Better Days and how they are helping not just with pain relief, but also with aspects like sleep and nutrition. Back pain really affects your lifestyle, but there are also things you can do to relieve your pain, and those are worth looking into too.

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