The tension that we build in our muscles can cause us a lot of discomfort, not to mention some actual damage in the long term. A good self massage is a sure-fire way to ease some of that stress. Below, we’ll review some options for you to see what the best neck massager for your needs is. Our in-depth guide to self massage tools goes into more detail about massage and the options available.
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The best neck and shoulder massagers we reviewed include:
- Renpho Hand Held Massager – best value massager
- Opove Massage Gun
- Fascia Trigger Point Massager
- Liba Shiatsu Massager
- Snailax Shiatsu and Percussion Massager
Reasons for Neck and Shoulder Pain
Stress in the neck and shoulder area can occur for several reasons. Shoulder posture plays a big role in the health of your neck. If you’ve got an office job that requires you to sit at a desk all day, you may be prone to kyphosis and have shoulders that round inward. This can lead to a condition called forward head posture.
The cause can be as simple as bad posture or sitting down for too long, to more serious ones like an injury although the most common cause is simply aging.
Neck, Shoulder and Back Pain as we Age
Like all the other niggles that appear in midlife, neck, shoulder and back pain is part of the rich tapestry that is getting older. Wear and tear of the skeletal system especially the spine is just “one of those things”.
The discs that lie between the hard bone vertebrae provide flexibility and versatility but like us, they dry out and become less flexible.
Arthritis can be the cause of back and neck pain. Cartilage is another flexible medium that connects all our joints to the bones. This too wears with age and any pain in later life is often magnified by trauma that happened in our youth.
Yes, neck and back pain is common and often begins between 40 and 60 years but although a little creaking and pain is normal, it’s always best to make sure there isn’t a more serious underlying problem. So any unusual aggravation like sharp pains, numbness or other symptoms like fever, weight loss, incontinence etc. see your doc.
Long Term Pain Relief
I know this is a bit preachy but I can seriously attest to the effectiveness of just some small lifestyle changes that can be hugely beneficial in stemming the tide of back, neck and other joint pain. Quite simply…
- Maintain an appropriate weight to alleviate the pressure on the joints
- Do strength training to strengthen the muscular system
- Regularly stretch and move all those interconnecting bits
Well, that’s a longer term strategy, first off though alleviating that pain starts by choosing the best neck massager and get to work on those knotty problems.
How to Relieve Tension in the Neck and Shoulders
There are, of course, many great stretches and yoga based moves that can help you with the pain in your neck and shoulders.
Another great way to relieve the tension in that area (without moving a muscle) is a good massage. This can be done in the luxury of a spa or the comfort of your home.
If you can’t (or don’t want to) spend a considerable amount of money getting a professional massage, the best neck and shoulder massager is your next best bet.
How Does a Massage Work?
A massage works in a very simple way. By applying the correct amount of pressure to the aching areas, it works to relieve pain.
Exactly how this pressure is effective is an area of research. Some studies have suggested that it’s a combination of relaxing the pained area, relieving general stress and anxiety, and helping to “close the pain gate” from the brain.
The nerve fibers are stimulated, and the brain then releases the “feel good” hormones: dopamine and serotonin, as well as decreasing the prevalence of cortisol. The body ends up feeling great by the simple rubbing action induced by the massager.
The effectiveness of regular massages has even been proven with cancer patients. A good self neck and shoulder massager can help relieve pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, and depression. Those who regularly experience massages to the neck and back area have reported better sleep, healing, and quality of life.
Precautions to Consider Before Purchasing a Massager
A massage is probably one of the safest things out there, but there are still a few points you should be aware of.
Firstly, when using a handheld massager, try to avoid these areas:
Also, make sure you consult your doctor if you’ve sustained any injuries in the area you wish to use a neck and shoulder massager.
Top Five Picks for the Best Neck and Shoulder Massagers
I found a reliable massager to a great investment when I had a problem turning my head to the left. Below we’ll review the best five to suit your needs so that you can choose the best neck massager.
1. Renpho Hand Held Massager – Best Value
This handheld massager can be used for several areas in your body, the neck and shoulder being the primary ones but also the back, feet and anywhere that can be reached.
The Renpho massager comes with a portable charging base station and has a battery that can last up to 140 minutes, making it very practical.
It’s got several different heads for a variety of massage styles as well as different modes to choose from. It can amp up to an intense, deep tissue massage or slow down to a more gentle rub.
The device also looks chic and trendy, making it the perfect gift and one of the best neck massagers to buy for someone.
- Powerful motor (up to 3600 pulses per minute).
- Interchangeable heads.
- Different modes.
- 20 minutes use before overheating. (Auto stop)
- Not for those extra intense massage.
2. Opove Massage Gun – Pricey but great option
This neck massager offers lots in terms of pain relief. It’s got four interchangeable head attachments to help you choose the exact setting of massage you want.
The intensity of the speed is also adjustable, with three speed levels to help you choose the pressure that you want.
This wide set of options helps you get the full massage experience as you can change the intensity as well as the style of massage throughout. This variation will help promote circulation overall, making you feel great and refreshed.
This is a percussion gun and although more expensive than the other options it is reasonably priced in it’s class. The quiet percussive action gets deep into the tissue effectively and has given a lot of pain relief to pretty much everyone that has used the Opove massage gun.
- Powerful motor (up to 3200 percussions per minute).
- Adjustable intensity.
- Cool design.
- Rechargeable battery.
- Very quiet.
- Relatively pricey.
- Not easy to set up and use.
3. Fascia Trigger Point Massager
It may look a little unconventional, but this simple massager uses the art of pressure in a way that requires no electric power.
The design of this massager is made to apply pressure via the pointed ends, providing deep relief for tense areas in a way that can be controlled manually.
If you’re the kind of person who prefers not to have any electricity involved in terms of massages, this is the item for you. Use it on your neck, shoulders, back, and all over!
- Works without electricity.
- Can be used all over body.
- Easy to use and grip.
- Can wear out hands.
- Does not offer different settings.
- Needs to be used with care in order not to bruise.
4. Liba Shiatsu Massager
If you’re looking for a massager that you can use during activities that create tension in your neck and shoulder area, this is a great option for you.
This small and compact massager fits perfectly behind your neck and uses the art of shiatsu therapy, which combines rotation and heat with pressure to help relieve pain in the neck and upper shoulder area. Although small, it’s quite powerful, and its motors will help to relieve some hard to reach places, making you feel great while you’re sitting down.
- Uses heat technology (optional).
- Portable (no cords).
- Powerful motor.Can be used while driving or working.
- Comes with adjustable strap to secure to seat.
- Not recommended if you have a neck injury.
- Does not come with speed regulator.
5. Snailax Shiatsu and Percussion Massager
Another great option if you’re looking for a heated shiatsu massage, this fits perfectly behind your neck and covers your shoulders for a full and localized neck and shoulder massage.
It comes with a percussion setting that mimics the “tapping” movement of professional massages, making it that much more effective at reaching hard-to-reach areas. The shoulder straps and speed intensity can also be adjusted.
- Adjustable to your needs.
- Eight rotating nodes.
- Two levels of intensity.
- Easy to clean.
- Safe to use (has automatic heat switch off mode).
- Has to be plugged in.
- A bit rough for any injury areas.
Our guide to percussion massage guns goes into more detail about the options available.
A Weight off Your Shoulders
A neck and shoulder massager can be that treat you give yourself or a loved one at the end of a long day, and your muscles will definitely be thanking before long.
You’ve got five great ones to choose from, some a little different from the norm. Our choice is the Renpho Hand Held Massager as the best neck and shoulder massager. It’s great value.
It’s durable, effective, comes with different nodes and settings to suit your massage needs.
It has a long-lasting, rechargeable battery and can move around with you! It also comes at a very affordable price, given its wide range of features and options.
I hoped this review of 5 different but excellent neck and shoulder massagers helped. Let us know what you think in the comments