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Back pain is something many people have to deal with on a regular basis.
It’s actually one of the most common reasons why people have to stay home from work, with half of all Americans claiming to have back pain symptoms every year, as reported by the American Chiropractic Association.
Will a back massage offer relief?
There’s no doubt that having a back massage can help to loosen sore and stiff muscles.
When muscle tension is reduced, this boosts blood flow to the area and improves flexibility, so muscles aren’t tight and painful anymore.
If you’ve been battling with back pain, it’s time to do something about it.
Here’s our guide to the best back massager: relieve yourself from back pain easily and quickly, without having to book a massage or see a physical therapist.
Best Back Massager Reviews & Recommendations For 2019
Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
This is the best back massager to relieve tension in tight muscles because it has deep-kneading shiatsu massage nodes.
These change direction every minute on their own, so you can relax and feel like you’re having a massage at a luxury spa.
This massager has adjustable straps that make it easy and versatile to use. You can even use these straps to tie the massager to a chair.
It has a car adapter so you can use it when you’re on the move.
Although the car adapter feature is pretty standard in back massagers, as can be seen in the above table, the adjustable straps mean you can attach the Zyllion massager to your car seat.
It’s ergonomically designed to fit behind your neck, but it can also be used to massage other areas of your body, such as your back and thighs, because it’s nice and compact.
You have to plug in this shiatsu massager for it to work. It can’t work on batteries, which is a drawback if you were hoping to use it anywhere.
This back massager costs just under $45. With its automatic massage nodes and compact design, it’s no wonder that it’s the top rated back massager.
It’s definitely a good purchase if you regularly want to reap massage benefits.
Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
While this is marketed as a neck and back massager, you can safely and easily use it on other areas of your body. This versatility is a big plus.
This shiatsu massager has eight deep-kneading nodes that can help to relieve tension in tired, sore muscles.
It’s got an ergonomic U-design that makes it easy to use on your neck, but it can also be used on other muscles without a fuss.
It’s got a smart heat function that transfers warmth to your muscles, and it shuts down automatically after 20 minutes for your safety.
It’s got a removable dust-proof bag that’s easy to clean.
This massage unit has to be plugged into a power source, so it can’t be used as a cordless one.
This Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager costs under $50, so it’s a budget-friendly option for the best back massage machine that doesn’t skimp on all the important features you need to relieve pain in various areas of your body.
InvoSpa Shiatsu Back Shoulder & Neck Massager with Heat
Sometimes you want a massager that you can use in many different ways and intensities, and an extra bonus would be to have a massager that feels like a person is giving you a massage.
That’s where the InvoSpa massager comes in as the best personal back massager.
This InvoSpa massaging system has eight massager roller balls.
The great thing about them is that there are four big and four small nodes, depending on how much you want to knead your muscles, and this makes it one of the best upper back massager devices.
You can adjust the speed setting, depending on three speed strength levels.
The massager makes use of infrared heat so that you can use heat treatments and have a massage in one.
It’s perfect to relieve muscle strains and tension, while boosting blood flow to help your muscles to heal.
It has two massage directions, thanks to a bi-directional movement that makes you feel like a person is giving you a neck or back massage.
This massager has two massage directions, but it auto-reverses every minute, which might be disappointing if you were hoping to control the message direction a bit more.
This InvoSpa massager costs just under $50. It’s a massager you can use whenever you feel muscular strain.
Although it has to be plugged into a power source, it does come with a car charger. It’s also got a durable carry bag that makes it portable.
SNAILAX Vibration Massage Seat Cushion
This massager is great for when you want to use the massager as a seat cushion as it can help to relieve your pain while you relax at the end of a hard day.
But this product goes one step further to make your massaging seat cushion a lot more fun to use. Let’s check out its specs in detail.
This cushion massager has six vibrating massage motors that are specifically beneficial for your back and thighs.
You can work on four different zones – your thighs, lower back, mid back, and upper back – simultaneously or target just one area.
You also can choose from four vibration intensities.
It has a heating pad that gently warms up your muscles.
It has a remote control from which you can choose different settings.
The massage seat has a safety feature in place to prevent overheating. It has an auto shut-off timer for your safety.
This cushion massager has adjustable straps that can be placed on a chair or car seat. It’s also equipped with a non-slip rubber bottom so it’ll remain in place.
This product is only a vibrating massager – it doesn’t offer shiatsu or other massage benefits, such as other massagers in this guide.
If you’re looking for extra massage functions, then this product is not right for you.
It costs under $45, so it is cheaper than other back massages in our reviews.
If you’re fine with having a vibration massager without extra massage perks, this one is worth it. Plus, the feature of a remote control is a nice bonus.
TYMO Back Massager
This is a versatile, hand-held massager that can be used on the go and for various parts of your body.
The TYMO Back Massager has five nodes so that you can choose the massage experience you want by focusing on different muscle groups, such as the muscles in the neck, back, and even your hands.
It’s perfect for people who use their hands a lot, such as those who work on the computer all day.
It comes with rechargeable batteries that give you two hours of massage time.
It has five adjustable intensities, so you can choose if you want a gentle massage or something that will be more powerful.
The benefit of this is that you can use it for relaxation or as a massager for tired, sore muscles.
The TYMO Back Massager has a warm function that delivers heat to your muscles at the touch of a button.
This is important for treating sore muscles because it boosts blood circulation.
The buttons on the device aren’t backlit which can be a nuisance at night or if you’re in a dim environment.
The TYMO massager costs under $60, but it’s worth the money because of how versatile it is and because you can use it on the go wherever you are without a fuss.
Back Massager FAQ
Are back massagers good for you?
Back massagers are very valuable if you want to give yourself a massage and relieve muscle tension.
They can also be relaxing, such as after a gym session or busy day in which you’ve been on your feet for many hours.
Back massagers have become popular because they are so practical. Whenever you need a massage, you can use a back massager in the comfort of your own home.
You don’t have to worry about booking a massage or asking someone to give you one – you have the best home massager right in your hands.
Simply plug in the electric back massager and you can give yourself a quality massage that will relax you and target areas on your body that need some extra care.
With some products, you don’t even have to plug them in – an example is the TYMO massager that’s completely portable and runs on batteries.
Many back massagers, such as some that are featured in this buying guide of the best rated back massagers, are good for you because they can give you a deeper massage as well as a lighter one, depending on your specific needs.
This can have many health benefits, such as by boosting your circulation, loosening stiff muscles, and helping you to relax.
In addition, if you’re using a massager instead of reaching for a bottle of pain pills, that can be much better for your health!
It can even make you not have to reach for your painkillers when you’re experiencing a bad bout of pain.
A study that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal took a closer look at what would happen when 400 adults with moderate to severe lower back pain were given different types of care.
Some people in this group were given massages and others were given other types of treatment, such as muscle relaxants or painkillers.
After monitoring the participants for 10 weeks, the ones who’d been treated with massage experienced a greater improvement in their pain as compared to the ones who were treated with medication.
Research has also found that massage therapy has many health benefits, such as improving your sleep quality, reducing anxiety and depression, and relieving tension headaches, as reported by Reader’s Digest Best Health.
By being able to give yourself some TLC with a lower back massage machine, you can reap all those benefits.
How long should you use a massager for?
When you use a massager and feel the effects of its vibration and heat, it’s tempting to want to use it all day long. However, it’s important not to overdo it.
If you use a massage chair or device too much, this can lead to adverse effects such as muscle damage and even bruised tissues.
That’s why moderation is key. Stick to sessions that aren’t longer than 10 minutes.
That might sound too short, but it makes sense when you consider that a traditional body massage will take an average of 20 minutes, but an electric massager can give you all the benefits you need in 10 minutes, as Expert Massager reports.
Make sure that you use the massager only when you need it, such as when your back is sore or you’ve overdone it at the gym and need the extra TLC.
By being able to target the massager to the area of your body that needs the vibration and heat, this enables you to focus on what needs to be massaged so you get the most benefit from it in a short amount of time.
And it should go without saying: always read the device’s manual before you plug it in and use it to learn how to use it safely as there might be other safety precautions that you need to consider.
How often should you use a massager?
The question of how often you should use a massager depends on what you’re using it for.
If you have persistent or chronic pain, such as in your neck, back, or shoulder, you can use your massaging device three or four times per week, but avoid using it more frequently as that can be too much for your body.
Overuse can also minimize the benefits from the massager device and it could lead to some side effects.
That said, you want to be consistent if you have pain. So, if you want to use the massager daily, stick to using it no longer than 10 minutes.
If you don’t have much pain, or you just want to use the massager to relax, then you can use it a few times a week or less.
Again, it’s important to read the manual that comes with the back massager in case there are specific rules when it comes to using it daily or several times a week as each product will be different.
The important thing is to use the massager if and when you need it, otherwise your muscles won’t really be able to reap the benefits and they might end up sore and bruised as a result.
Is there any side effects from back massagers?
As with any therapy, there are some side effects that can occur from using a back massager. Here’s a rundown of some common ones.
- This is actually a side effect you might experience if you use the back massager too much. Since a back massager aims to loosen sore and stiff muscles, it can help you to feel more relaxed. But that can backfire. If you become so relaxed that you’re sleepy from using the massager, you might actually become groggy. This isn’t a nice feeling if you have to do other tasks that require concentration, so tread carefully.
- Increased pain. You might find that after having a massage, your back and neck pain is worse. This is normal. By stimulating the muscle fibers, this can result in pain. However, keep a check on how long the pain sticks around. If it lasts for longer than a few days, give your massaging device a break and chat to your doctor about it.
- Potential risk of strokes. Although it’s scary to imagine that a massaging device can lead to strokes, this risk is linked to using the product incorrectly. You should never use a massaging device on the front of your neck as it can cause internal carotid artery dissection. When the carotid artery is irritated, this can lead to a massive ischemic stroke.
It’s important to know what’s causing your persistent pain before you use a massaging device.
While you might think that applying vibration or kneading to your back or neck that’s constantly sore might be a good thing, this can have the opposite effect if an underlying condition is the result of the pain.
For example, if your pain is as a result of a condition such as broken bones or blood clots, these could actually become worse if you massage the areas in which they’re located.
So, if you think your pain could be coming from a serious injury or other condition, get it checked out by your doctor before proceeding with the use of a massaging device.
Investing in a back massager can be very beneficial to you, especially if you have chronic pain that you want to target.
There are other reasons why you should get this device, such as because it can help you relax your muscles when they feel sore and tired.
The big question is: which massager should you choose?
As seen in this buying guide, there are many quality back massager devices that are available on the market.
Before purchasing one, it’s important to consider what you’ll need it for, such as if you want the relaxation of being at a luxury spa or you want to target pain in certain areas of your body.
It’s also good to consider the extra features that can be found in these machines.
For example, if they’re portable and light so you can travel with them and how many different intensity modes they offer.
There are even some extra-special features that add to their versatility, such as the use of a remote control to use the massaging device with greater comfort.
The best way to decide on what massager to purchase is to focus on what you really need in a back massager.
By doing this, you can find the right one that will ease sore and stiff muscles with the click of a button.
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