Back pain is a malady that plagues millions of individuals worldwide. In the United States alone, it is estimated that up to 80% of the adult population suffers from lower back pain. Fortunately, very few back conditions require expensive procedures or surgery. The most common causes of back pain are overexertion, heavy lifting, and frequent sitting. For back pain caused by these conditions and others, frequent massage can alleviate pain and others related symptoms.
The key to successful back pain relief is a great back massaging tool. Whether you’re looking for a simple manual back massager or a premium massage chair, we’ve done our research to discover the best massaging tool for your needs.
Can Massage Help Your Back Problem?
Massage is a practical solution to many forms of back pain. The most common cause of back pain is muscle strain, which often occurs after heavy-lifting accidents or falls. Other injuries may result in pulled or torn muscles. Such back strain often results in spasms, tightness, soreness, and inflammation. Massage is generally highly effective at alleviating these forms of back pain. With regular massaging, spasms can be reduced, muscles can be loosened, and range of motion can be restored.
Spinal problems, such as osteoarthritis can often be improved by frequent massage as well. Regular massage can reduce muscle tension and increase blood flow throughout the back. In conjunction with treatment from a trained medical professional, massage can significantly reduce osteoarthritis symptoms.
Sciatica, which can be caused by various conditions, including spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and herniated discs, can also be managed via massage therapy. Fibromyalgia patients may also find that a good back massager can reduce the severe pain and stiffness caused by the condition.
Individuals who suffer from certain known conditions such as skin disease or osteoporosis should avoid intense massage therapy. Before starting a massage therapy regimen, consult your doctor to ensure that massage is a suitable pain management technique for your back condition.
For most individuals, massage is a valuable tool in the treatment of back pain. Whether you suffer from chronic pain or just a temporary ailment, a high-quality back massager can offer your sore back the break it deserves.
How to Choose the Right Back Massager
Selecting the proper back massager can be a challenging task to undertake. Many factors come into play, and much of the selection process will depend on your personal needs and desires. Some of the top factors to consider include:
• Manual Back Massager or Electric Massager?
There are hundreds of distinctive back massagers available today. Some of these massagers are traditional manual back massagers. These massage tools rely on human pressure for their effectiveness. Some of these massaging tools are applied by hand, whereas others are laid upon, utilizing the weight of the body as a massaging force. These massagers are generally affordable, practical, and highly versatile. For patients suffering from neck pain and shoulder pain in addition to back problems, manual massaging tools are often worth purchasing.
Electric massagers tend to be slightly pricier than manual back massagers. These devices vary greatly in their styles, massaging techniques, and technologies. Some electric massagers focus on applying soothing shiatsu massage to the back and shoulders. Others use different technologies, such as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) to stimulate and heal sore muscles. Electric devices come in a diverse range of designs, ranging from handheld massagers to full-sized massage chairs.
• Massager Settings/Intensity
Some of the most important back massager features to consider are device settings, functions, and overall strength. Many individuals with back pain are looking for heavy-duty massagers that offer deep tissue massage functionalities. Others, however, may be more sensitive to intense massage, and may prefer to opt for gentler massaging devices.
With manual devices, users can manage the intensity and speed of their massagers by themselves. With electric massagers, users must take care to read customer reviews to get a better idea of each massager’s force.
• Areas Treated/Functionality
Back massagers come in hundreds of shapes, sizes, and styles. With electric massagers, it is especially important to consider which areas of your back you wish to treat. If your pain is concentrated in your lower back, you may wish to purchase a lumbar massage cushion. If you experience neck and shoulder pain in addition to back pain, you may benefit more from a full massage seat designed for chair use. If you experience pain in diverse locations, you may benefit from electric spot massagers or may prefer to opt for a manual massaging tool. Manual massagers are often more diverse in their applications, and can be used on the arms, legs, buttocks, shoulders, and back.
Be sure to seriously consider the functionalities you desire in your back massager before selecting a device. By double-checking that the massager is ideally suited to your back condition, you can ensure that you’ll have greater success with the device.
The costs of personal back massagers vary drastically from device to device. Quality manual back massagers are often available for $30 or $40. Affordable electric devices may be available for $50 to $100, whereas more premium massage seats and chairs can range from $200 up to $4000.
Though some back massagers can be extremely pricey, many can be purchased on a limited budget. Many top rated massage seats and lumbar cushions cost well under $100.
It is very important to think about where you’ll be using your back massager. If you plan to use your massager only at home, you’ll have many options. If, however, you’re looking for a particularly portable massager or one that is ideal for car seats, you’ll have to narrow your focus.
Massage seats and full massage chairs are generally among the least portable massager options. Manual massagers and lumbar cushions are generally better suited to travel.
• Heat, Acupressure, and Other Features
In addition to massaging capabilities, many modern back massagers come with a variety of extra features. Some offer heat therapy, while others offer electrical pulse therapy. Some devices even come with extra acupressure ridges to relax muscles and aid in pain relief. If you feel that any of these features might be particularly beneficial for your condition, consider selecting a multi-functional back massager.
• Personal Taste
Purchasing a back massager is a very personal endeavor. Read lots of reviews, weigh the pros and cons, and, if possible, test out back massagers before selecting a device to purchase.
By considering these factors, you can guarantee that you will be purchasing the ideal massaging device for your back condition.
REVIEWS: The 10 Best Back Massagers That Really Work!
The HoMedics 3D Shiatsu Massage Pillow is an extremely versatile and effective back massager. 3D massage balls embedded in the cushion offer powerful, penetrating shiatsu massages. The HoMedics pad has a simple, relatively flat design, making it perfect for addressing problem areas in the shoulders, neck, upper back, and lower back regions.
In addition to its flexible usage, the HoMedics Massage Pillow includes heat and vibration therapy. These features can be used alongside the shiatsu massage function or may be used separately for gentler relief. Though the device might be too strong for some users, most individuals find that the HoMedics Pillow gives them a pleasant and pain-free feeling of relief.
Perhaps the best feature of the HoMedics Pillow is its price. This best-selling back massager is available for the price of just one professional massage.
The Brookstone 3D Back Massager is the ideal device for individuals with chronic pain throughout their back and shoulders. Like the HoMedics Pillow, the Brookstone Back Massager uses shiatsu massage to relax muscles and ease back pain. The Brookstone Back Massager, however, is larger and contains a whopping 12 3D balls, making it the best device for addressing general back pain and tightness.
The Brookstone Back Massager comes with handles, making it one of the most portable electric massagers available. The massage seat is designed to fit all chairs, making it perfect for both home and office use, though unfortunately it does not have an adapter for car use. Whether you’re suffering from chronic muscle pain or persistent knots, this top rated back massager is guaranteed to give you the relief you crave.
The Thera Cane Massager is well-known for being one of the most effective manual back massagers in existence. True to its name, the Thera Cane has a cane-shaped head for massaging hard-to-get spots on the back. The cane comes with six massage bars with treatment balls, making it easy to massage out knots, sore muscles, and other problem areas in the back. The cane is both portable and versatile, and can easily be used to massage stiff muscles in the limbs, neck, and torso, too.
Users cannot speak highly enough of the Thera Cane. In one review, a user even declares that the Thera Cane has saved him from years of chiropractic treatment. Though it requires a bit of dexterity and knowledge to use, the Thera Cane is a highly effective manual massager.
If you suffer from chronic pain and stiffness and are looking for a powerful, manual solution to your back pain, try out the Nayoya Wellness Acupressure Mat.
Like other manual massagers, the Nayoya Mat focuses on applying pressure to sore, stiff muscles in the back. Unlike most massagers, however, the mat uses acupressure points to deliver its powerful results. Users lay on the mat’s 6,210 acupresure points, which stimulate the muscles in the back, immediately increasing blood flow throughout the back, shoulders, and neck.
The Nayoya Mat is easy to store or transport, and is ideal for more than just back pain. Though the Nayoya Mat is often painful for beginners, studies indicate that the mat also improves sleep quality and reduces stress, making it a great choice for individuals seeking better overall wellness.
For individuals seeking fast and intense pain relief, try the Noyoya Wellness Mat.
The PurePulse Electronic Pulse Massager is a highly innovative and affordable electric massager system. This multi-functional massager has three different settings (massage, kneading, and beating) to help assuage chronic tension and pain throughout the body. The system also uses Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) to active natural pain blockers throughout the body, allowing for non-surgical healing and relief.
The PurePulse system earns high marks from its users. The massage patches can be applied anywhere on the body, including the waist, arms, and back.
If you’re looking for a highly effective, multi-functional back massaging tool, be sure to try out the PurePulse Electronic Pulse Massager.
The TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller is a flexible manual massage tool that can easily be used by anyone. This foam accupoint roller is suitable for relaxing muscles, releasing tight knots in the back, and much more. Lay on your back and relax your muscles, or place the roller against the back of a chair for additional support and pain relief.
The TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller is perhaps the best manual massager for fitness buffs. Though it lacks many of the functionalities of electric massagers, the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller can easily be incorporated into fitness routines as well. Using the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller in a fitness regimen can also boost core strength and back stability, two attributes that ultimately lead to better back health.
For your car seat or office chair, there’s no better massage seat than the Dr. Scholl’s Full Cushion Massager. Priced at under $40, this massage seat is an absolute bargain. The Dr. Scholl’s Massager performs exceptionally well, particularly given its price. The seat includes three massage settings and five motors. Though the chair is weaker than its more expensive counterparts, it’s excellent at warming and soothing muscles in the back. Unlike most affordable massage seats, the Dr. Scholl’s seat includes AC and auto adapters, too!
If you’re looking for a portable massage seat with an excellent price and respectable performance, buy the Dr. Scholl’s Full Cushion Massager.
If you can afford a premium electric massage device, you may be a great candidate for the HT iJoy Massage Chair. This full-sized chair offers customers out-of-this-world back massages, relieving pain and inducing total relaxation. With three different strength settings and three refreshing auto-massage programs, the iJoy can easily address most types of back pain. Though the chair is a hefty investment, it is worth the price. Multiple users rave that their iJoy chairs lasted 10 years or more.
If you love reclining and closing your eyes while having your back thoroughly massaged, the HT iJoy Massage Chair just might be the right massager for you.
When it comes to manual massage, it can be difficult to reach problem spots in the back. If you frequently experience knots, tightness, and pain in your back, then the Body Back Buddy & Mini Back Buddy might just be the best back massagers for you.
The Body Back Buddy is much like the Thera Cane. The double-hooked massager has 11 nodules for massaging sore and tight muscles. The smaller Mini Back Buddy is especially handy and portable and can be used to target knots with ease.
The Body Back Buddy is an excellent straight-forward handheld back massager. If you suffer from chronic pain, consider purchasing this life-changing tool.
The Tiger Tail 22″ Rolling Muscle Massager is an exceptionally simple back massaging tool. This small foam-coated roller is versatile, portable, and easy-to-use.
The Tiger Tail can be used with light pressure or applied firmly for a deep tissue massage. Much like other manual massagers, the Tiger Tail can be used on multiple parts of the body, including the legs, lower back, upper back, and arms.
If you’re looking for a tremendously simple yet effective back massager, give the Tiger Tail a try. Whether you’re warming up for a sport or working out a knot, this mighty roller is guaranteed to make your muscles happy.
By carefully considering your personal health conditions and needs, you can easily find a great back massager to alleviate your pain. Whether you purchase a manual massage tool or a high-tech massage chair, you’ll be sure to reap the benefits of a thorough back massage.