Neck pain is among the top 5 most common disorders in the US, and around 20% of all people experience it. It’s more serious than you might think and it can impact both your physical and mental well-being, causing other problems.
But, how to deal with it? Well, massages are one of the best options out there, since they work on the core of the problem, unlike pain medication. However, they’re expensive and time-consuming.
So, what can you do? You can get a massager, of course! Neck and shoulder massagers are available at decent prices, and you can easily use them at home to help with the pain you’re feeling. Take a look at some of the best neck and shoulder massagers on the market today and say goodbye to the pain!
- The Ins and Outs of Neck and Shoulder Massagers
- Where to Get a Neck and Shoulder Massager Near Me?
- The Best Neck and Shoulder Massagers of 2019 – Compared in Detail
- Top 14 Neck and Shoulder Massagers to Buy in 2019
- The Many Great Benefits of Neck and Shoulder Massagers
- What to Consider When Buying a Neck and Shoulder Massager
- Avoiding Stiffness in Your Neck and Shoulders – A Short Guide
- Neck and Shoulder Massager FAQ
The Ins and Outs of Neck and Shoulder Massagers
So, what exactly are neck and shoulder massagers? How do they work? Well, I’ll tell you all about it right here! You’ve probably seen one of these massagers before, at a friend’s house or somewhere.
They usually look like bundles with two straps tied to them that you can put your arms through, while you place the bundle on your neck to massage it. The bundle usually contains the motor and the massage nodes used for vibration, which are moved by the motor. It’s all covered in fabric with a mesh on the part that’s supposed to be placed on your neck.
The inside can also contain heaters, vibration pads or even batteries if it’s a cordless massager. Other variants are available as well, including massage cushions, but this is the most common design you can find. The type of massage employed by these massagers is usually shiatsu massage.
Along with handheld massagers, they’re some of the most popular massagers out there, due to their convenient design and the prevalence of neck and shoulder pain in today’s society. They’re also relatively inexpensive and easy to use and they offer a lot of great benefits – which I’m going to talk about in the next section.
Where to Get a Neck and Shoulder Massager Near Me?
If you’re interested in neck and shoulder massagers after hearing this, you probably want to buy one right now. Ordering one online is fine, but it can take a long while for it to arrive.
However, if you want to get one as soon as possible, you’d want to buy one in a shop near you. That used to be quite difficult to do, especially with specialty products like massagers. You’d probably have to ask around the neighborhood before you’d be able to find a shop that sells them, let alone a good one.
These days that’s all different – you can just search for things like ‘neck and shoulder massager near me’ or ‘neck and shoulder massager shops near me’ and even ‘buy massagers near me’ and you can get something like what you want.
However, you don’t even have to leave this page to find what you want – you can just take a look at this handy map I made that will help you find a neck and shoulder massager near you.
One this map you should be able to see all the shops that sell neck and shoulder massagers in your neighborhood. You can also click on each and every one of them in order to get all the necessary info about them – their working hours, their contact info, the products they sell and so on.
Still, it might be difficult to choose the best shop to buy a massager in, especially if there are a lot of them near you – but I’m here to help.
How to Find the Best Neck and Shoulder Massager Shop Near You
When looking at all these shops, there are a few things you need to consider in order to find the one that would cater best to your needs. Here’s what you should keep in mind.
This is one of the first things you should check out when you click on one of the shops on the map. Do they have a website? If they do, that’s already a plus. It means they put in that little bit of extra effort to promote themselves and serve the customer better.
But, just having a website is not enough. It needs to be slick and easy to navigate, and the information on it needs to be easy to find. The best shops should be able to offer a lot of useful info on their website. You need to be able to see when they’re open, their current prices and the items they have in stock and so on.
This way you can also compare prices without having to walk around the shops and possibly miss something – everything is at your fingertips, and you can see if it is the right fit for you.
Shops that house the products of just one or two brands usually tend to overprice their products – it’s possible that you can find them elsewhere. Unless you’re a real devotee of that brand, steer clear of them.
The best shops will probably have a wide variety of products available, and they’ll have more competitive prices as a result of that. To boot, they’ll probably have better products on hand, due to the competition.
One of the most useful things about the map is the user score, which you’ll find on the side once you click on each shop.
There, you’ll find reviews from real customers who visited the store, and you can read what they thought about it. If it’s a good shop, the reviews will probably be good. But, if there are any issues, you’ll find them there.
It’s an easy way to check if a store has a good track-record and decide if you want to buy your neck and shoulder massager there.
The Best Neck and Shoulder Massagers of 2019 – Compared in Detail
If you want to find out about all the important aspects of the best neck and shoulder massagers – I have you covered! You can just scan through this neat table and get all the basics down at once. However, if you want my full opinions – scroll down below for the complete reviews!
Top 14 Neck and Shoulder Massagers to Buy in 2019
The specs sheet above can be all you need to make a decision – if you’re a highly-educated buyer and know exactly what you’re looking for. If on the other hand, you want to know how these massagers actually perform and what they bring to the table, the next section is for you – detailed reviews of 14 most popular neck & shoulder massagers on the market!
Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager Approachable and Intense
This neck and shoulder massager from Naipo seems t be a straight up hit, but does it have a few chinks in the armor? Let’s take a look.
For starters, it seems to be quite well-designed. The materials are good, the design overall is comfortable, and it’s easy to use with integrated controls and convenient straps, while the massage nodes easily adhere to most body parts.
The massage it can deliver is quite intense and certainly effective. You can choose between three different intensity levels to adjust it to your liking. It also comes with a car adapter, making it portable and even more convenient.
However, there are a few issues. It has a heating function, like most massagers like this, but it’s not quite as intense as you might expect it to be.
The inability to turn off the heating function also stifles this massager a bit. If you want to use it but have a condition that means heating is bad for you, you won’t be able to use it. So, overall, it’s good, but if you’re expecting a lot out of the heating function, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
- Easy to use with a good, ergonomic design that makes you feel comfortable
- Delivers an intense massage that you can feel in your bones
- Made out of high-quality materials
- Comes with a car adapter allowing you to use it on the go
- Has a heating function included
- The heat function is a bit weaker than you might expect
- You can’t have a massage without heating since it’s always on
Just because a massager has a certain extra function doesn’t mean it’s good – it can even become a negative in certain cases, so watch out.
RESTECK Massagers for Neck and Back with HeatThe Feeling of Real Heat
If you’re looking to get a neck and shoulder massager that’s easy to carry around, this RESTECK massager is a decent option. Not because it’s more compact but because it comes with a good carrying bag tailor made for it. But, how does the massager itself perform?
Quite well, thank you for asking. The massage is stimulating, and you can choose from 3 different levels of intensity to adjust it your liking. You can also change the direction in which the massage nodes spin.
Sometimes, the direction will change without your input which is a flaw, but sometimes you won’t even notice that. It’s also a massager that can take quite a beating since it’s made out of good materials and it seems to be well-put-together which is to be expected for the price.
The heating function is one of the standouts since it’s quite hot and you can turn it on or off if you like. It’s not just lukewarm like a lot of other massagers. The only major issue with the massager is the relatively short cord which can limit its use, though it does come with a car adapter which is good.
- Comes with a nifty bag for carrying it
- Has a good heating function that is more than just lukewarm and can be turned off
- Highly durable and well-made with quality materials
- The massage is highly stimulating and intense
- It can sometimes change directions on its own
- Not wireless and the cord is rather short overall
Don’t plug in massagers into extension cords – they can easily overload them, and you’ll have a lot of trouble on your hands if that happens. Avoid it whenever possible.
SNAILAX AL661 Heating Pad for Neck and ShouldersHeating Pad and Massager in One
This product from SNAILAX is a nifty combination of a neck and shoulder massager and a heating pad, giving it a unique feel compared to other massagers.
It doesn’t use massage nodes to massage you – instead, it uses vibration pads. While this type of massage isn’t as strong, it is still beneficial, and it is great for people who are more sensitive.
The material is also great for sensitive skin since it’s nice and soft, it doesn’t chafe, and it is good at transferring heat. When you turn on the heating function, it will heat up quickly and won’t lose heat for a while after you turn it off.
The only problem with the material is that it’s difficult to wash without damaging it – never put it in the washing machine.
Another thing with this massager that’s a bit hit and miss at the same time is the size. It’s good that it’s big enough to cover a large area of your body, but that also means you can’t use it just anywhere since it’s too bulky.
Overall, it has some ups and some downs, but it is a good product.
- It can massage a large area of your body
- It easily doubles as a heating pad for your neck, shoulders, and back
- The material is soft and comfortable, yet durable
- Stays on easily due to using magnetic clasps for the straps
- Washing it can be a bit difficult
- It’s large and bulky, so it’s not exactly portable
Buying a multipurpose product might result in you getting a worse experience than if you bought two dedicated products instead. Check how good each feature is and if it’s worth the money before buying.
Atsuwell Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager with HeatHands-free Massage for Your Neck
On the surface this Atsuwell massager might seem to be as basic as it gets, but it’s better than it might initially appear to be.
The most unique part about it are the straps – they have Velcro on them, allowing you to join them together. You also get a belt that can go through them and wrap around your body.
This way you can use it in the same positions as similar massagers while staying hands-free.
You might think this will make it difficult for you to move around, but it won’t since it’s much lighter than it seems. The design is quite compact, making it more portable and easier to move around with it on you.
However, pressing the controls can be an issue. They’re placed quite high up on the straps, and you might struggle to reach them at times.
But what brings it down a notch is the cord it has – it’s short and a massager like this really ought to be cordless so you can make the most of it. It’s just a shame, otherwise, it would be much better than just good, as it is now.
- It’s more compact than other similar massagers
- The unique design of the straps allows for a hands-free massage
- A good infrared heating function is included
- The materials are durable and comfortable on your skin
- It’s not cordless, and the cord is rather short
- The controls are badly placed, and you might have trouble pressing them
The omission of one key feature that you assume is there can make a product much worse. Don’t trust the marketing pictures and always check if the feature you expect is included.
Medcursor Shiatsu Kneading Corded Massager with Heat Affordable Yet Durable
This Medcursor massager is more affordable than similar products – but is it as good? Well, for starters, it seems to be rather durable, and it has all the options that other massagers offer, including multi-directional massaging and different intensity levels.
It has a good heating function too – the best part about is that it heats up rather quickly and keeps heat for a while. Even after you turn it off, it will retain heat for around 10 to 15 minutes.
So far it seems good – but there are some issues. The cord is rather short, and it falls out of the massager easily, so you have to be careful when using it. The car adapter that comes with it is a bit better though.
The other main gripe is that the massage is not as intense as most people would expect. If you’re more sensitive, this might be fine, but it will be too weak for most people.
- It’s got a decent heating function included which heats up quickly
- The price is more affordable than other massagers
- Comes with a car adapter
- Quite durable which you don’t expect at this price point
- The cable falls off easily so be careful with it
- The massage is relatively weak even on the highest setting
Don’t dismiss low-priced products out of hand – sometimes, they’re great, and you might be missing a hidden gem.
MagicMakers Back Neck Shoulder Massager with HeatThe Most Affordable Electric Neck and Shoulder Massager
This is a highly affordable massager from a little-known company called MagicMakers – but it’s still worth more than a cursory glance. One of the main things it has going for it, besides the price, is the compact and lightweight design.
It’s also got most of the functions you would expect from a neck and shoulder massager, including 8 massage nodes, 3 intensity levels, automatic shut-off timer, heating function and so on.
It even comes with a car adapter, so it’s great value for the price. The main problem with this massager, however, is its poor construction which can read to a lot of random malfunctions. It might even stop working outright.
One of the most common malfunctions is that the controls refuse to work when you press the button, usually due to the tactile pads under them shifting around. Overall, it’s a decent budget pick but don’t expect to have it for years to come.
- It’s lighter and more compact than most massagers of this type
- The price is far lower than most other similar massagers
- Adjustable and comes with all the functions you’ve come to expect
- Sadly it’s not as durable as other massagers, and it’s prone to random malfunctions
- The controls refuse to work sometimes
If you get a massager, you don’t have to use it forever – it’s fine to get a cheap one and treat it as disposable until you get the money to buy a better one.
Naipo Back Neck and Shoulder Massager Shiatsu with HeatThe Best Cordless Massager
This is a massager that’s a bit higher priced than most others – but is it worth it? Well, if you want a cordless massager that you can use hands-free, then it certainly is! It’s got more than decent battery life, and it charges fairly quickly too.
The straps have Velcro on them, allowing you to strap the massager to your body and use it without needing to hold it down. It’s not heavy either so carrying it around on your shoulders won’t be an issue.
With that said, you can still have a hard time using it if you’re a bit on the taller or large side. Even though the manufacturer claims the straps are long, they’re not that much longer than usual. The controls can also be difficult to reach since they’re quite high up on the straps.
Speaking of the controls – the button for changing massage directions is kinda useless. It changes directions automatically, and it’s touted as a feature, but it seems random and can take you out of the moment.
Overall, it’s a good cordless massager with a few kinks you’ll have to get used to, but it’s worth the price.
- Completely cordless with good battery life to boot
- Has a Velcro strap that allows you to strap it to yourself and be hands-free
- Lighter and more compact than most massagers
- It heats up rather quickly and holds heat for a long time
- You can use it in the car with a car adapter
- The massage direction changes automatically and seemingly at random
- The controls can be a bit difficult to reach
Don’t use cordless massagers while they’re charging – it’s not the same as using a corded one and it can lead to all sorts of problems.
LiBa Cordless Shiatsu Neck Shoulder Back Massager with HeatStrong and Cordless
LiBa seems to have a good thing going with this cordless neck and shoulder massager. It’s a decently strong machine with all the common functions you might come to expect, and it seems to be long-lasting.
You get 3 different levels of intensity and a good heating function to boot. The battery life is good, and it recharges quickly. You can massage yourself for two hours straight until the battery runs out completely. It’s not a weak-sauce massage either – it’s quite strong.
It’s easily able to fit most people, and you won’t feel like a t-rex while using it since the straps are quite long. This is also what allows you to easily use it for massaging other body parts. However, don’t’ think you can carry it around too much – for a cordless massager, it is more limiting than you would expect. It’s bulky and moving around with it can prove to be difficult.
Another thing that proves difficult is using the controls. The buttons are quite unresponsive, and it can take a while before the changes take effect even if they work. This seems to be a safety feature, but it gets annoying rather fast.
Overall, it’s a good cordless massager but not exactly too portable – still, it’s worth buying.
- Has a battery that can last for up to two hours and recharges quickly
- The straps are exceptionally long allowing anyone to use it easily
- The motors inside of it are incredibly strong and deliver a great massage
- The heating function is decent
- It’s quite heavy and bulky so you can’t exactly move it around too much
- The buttons can be quite unresponsive, and it takes a while for the massager to respond
Just because a massager is cordless does not mean it’s portable – there might be something else stopping it from being easy to carry around, always check it thoroughly.
Kendal Shiatsu Neck Shoulder Back Tapping Massager The Most Adjustable Neck and Shoulder Massager
Kendal has really hit it out of the park with this massager – it’s amazingly adjustable and incredibly strong. Take a look at all it has to offer.
For starters, it’s incredibly versatile and offers a total of 22 different massage modes. The massage is incredibly intense in most modes, and you can adjust it your liking with 11 different intensity levels available.
There’s also a heating function which can be felt through the entire massager (and it’s rather large). Speaking of that, this is a bulky massager, and it’s not quite portable or easy to carry around, so watch out.
It’s corded, but the cord is decently long, and it should post a problem. The controls are integrated, and it might be a bit difficult to use it when it’s draped over your shoulders, which is the only major gripe.
It’s amazing, and the price is incredible for what you get, so it’s worth your attention.
- Amazingly adjustable with 22 different massage programs and 11 intensity levels
- Contains a great heating function that can penetrate down to your bones
- The massage it offers is rather strong
- Made with strong and durable materials and good construction
- The price is great for what you get and affordable for most people
- Heavier than most other similar massagers out there
- It’s difficult to see and use the controls when it’s around your neck
If you’re buying a massager as a gift for an elderly person, always take note of the weight – what might be light to you could be crushing to them.
Brookstone Neck & Shoulder Sport Massager with HeatThe Most Intense Neck and Shoulder Massager
Brookstone has been well-known in the industry for a while, and they make some good if pricey, products. This one is a bit different from their usual offering. Let’s see if it’s any good. The design looks familiar, but this is not a shiatsu massager with nodes – instead it offers a percussion massage. It’s designed for ultimate relief after a tough exercise.
It’s decently adjustable with 10 levels of intensity to choose from and 3 modes – pulse, soothe and energize. It also has a heating function that can heat on the front as well as the back so you can use it as a heating pad too.
By clasping the front straps together, you can even use it hands-free, and it’s not difficult to carry around since it’s relatively lightweight
However, this is more of a shoulder massager – you’ll barely feel the massaging in the neck area.
The other issue is that you can’t quite relax with it on since it is quite strong and it makes some strange noises. It’s good, and if you want an intense massage, this is the way to go but be aware of the problems.
- An all-encompassing heating function that allows it to double as a heating pad
- Highly adjustable with 10 intensity levels and 3 different modes of massage
- You can close the from straps together to use it hands-free
- Lightweight and easy to carry around
- Most of the massage elements are focused in the shoulder area
- The massage can be too intense, and the massager makes noises
Always be aware of who the product is intended for – if you’re not into sports a sports massager might not be the right fit for you.
HoMedics Shiatsu Neck Massager with Heat The Best Budget Neck and Shoulder Massager
This neck and shoulder massager from HoMedics is a bit more unique than most of the others here. Its design is radically different.
For a start, it only has two extremely large massage nodes instead of 4 or 8 smaller ones. It’s also smaller with smaller straps, so it’s more akin to a massage pillow. But, does this different design work well?
Well, for the most part, it does. The massage it delivers is quite intense, and you’ll feel the tension in your neck disappearing. The straps are a bit too short though, so it is inconvenient to use if you’re not sitting down or lying down.
You’re meant to control the intensity with the straps since there’re no inbuilt intensity controls, but that can be a bit difficult to do. There’s an integrated heating function, and it works rather well – you’ll definitely feel it.
Overall, it’s a sturdy and inexpensive massager with a rather unique design. It’s compact and not too difficult to use though it might be uncomfortable at times. Check it out if you’re interested in something a bit different but not too expensive.
- It delivers an intense and focused massage
- There’s an integrated heating function which works rather well
- Relatively inexpensive compared to most other
- The materials feel good, and the massager is sturdy overall
- Small and compact, so it’s easy to carry around with you
- You can’t adjust the intensity of the massage
- The straps on it are rather short and difficult to hold
Don’t trust marketing images – they might be photoshop or use short models to make the product look bigger. Try to check it out in person or in videos used by real customers.
InstaShiatsu+ Neck, Shoulder & Full Body Massager With Heat, Model # IS-2000A Risk-Free Cordless Massager
This massager from truMedic does cost a lot – however, it also has a lot of useful features. But is it worth the price? Let’s find that out.
For starters, the cordless design is incredibly convenient, and it allows you to use the massager anywhere you want to. It charges up rather quickly, and the battery can last for quite a while.
There’s one problem with the battery though – once it fails, as all rechargeable batteries do, it’s not replicable, and you’ll have to get rid of the entire massager. Keep that in mind when buying.
The massage is rather intense, and a heating function is included along with different speed options. The controls are integrated and relatively easy to reach. On the flipside, the straps from your arms are relatively short, and most people of average height and build might feel a little uncomfortable with them.
So, overall, it’s a reasonably good massager with a few standout features and some flaws, but it does cost quite a bit.
However, even though the price is high, buying it is fairly risk-free. The manufacturer offers a 30-day, no-questions-asked full refund. It shows the confidence they have in this massager. Due to that, I’d say it’s worth a look at least.
- Buying it is risk-free, and you can return it within 30 days
- Cordless and charges fairly quickly
- Comes with a decent carrying case
- The massage you get from it is rather intense and works
- Made out of good, durable materials with a quality construction
- The rechargeable battery will wear out over time and can’t be replaced
- The straps are a bit too short for most people
- You can’t adjust the speed or the intensity of the massage
Always check the warranty and return policy of the company you’re buying from and check it carefully – some of them can use misleading language.
ITEASIER Massager Fly Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee
This small and unique massager from Iteasier is better than it might seem at first glance. It might look like a toy or a gimmick, but it’s so much more than that. It delivers a pulse massage that has a bad reputation as being weak but is more than intense here. You can feel it deep in your tissues, and it is more than efficient.
It’s also incredibly versatile with a lot of different massage modes for different body parts, which gives you plenty of options to choose from. Controlling it is easy with the press of a few buttons, and you can even do it if it’s under your clothes. It’s more discreet than you might think and no one will notice it at all.
However, that’s also one of its downfalls – if you want a thorough massage, this is not the device that will provide it. It can only massage a small area at any one time, and you might want something more complete for your neck and shoulders.
It’s fine if you want to focus on one spot that’s aching you and you want something easy and discreet. It’s got a lot of good uses despite how it looks.
- The massage it delivers is surprisingly strong
- It’s discreet and easy to hide under your clothes
- You can charge it with your phone charger, and the battery lasts for a long time
- There are 9 different modes and 10 levels of intensity
- The price is more than affordable
- After a while, it starts losing its stickiness and tends to fall off
- It is small and can only cover small areas of your body
If a massager looks strange and gimmicky that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s bad – try it on for size, and it might surprise you.
Gideon™ Neck and Shoulder MassagerThe ‘Do It Yourself’ Massager
Finally, we come to this beautiful, manually-operated neck and shoulder massager from Gideon.
It’s a small, lightweight and incredibly portable device that you can use almost anywhere. Due to how inconspicuous it is, people might not even notice you using it – it can easily be hidden by a tall collar, for example.
The other main upside of a massager like this is how easy it is to control the type of massage and intensity that you get. You can move it to your liking and target specific spots, press harder or lighter and so on.
However, that means you have to be engaged the whole time, and you can’t be hands-free at any point. You also have to get used to using it and learn how to use it.
Overall, it’s a good tool if you’re willing to learn how to use it and put in some effort. At the end of the day, it’s rather affordable so it won’t hurt to get it and try it out.
- It’s small, light and easy to carry with you anywhere
- The materials it’s made out of are quite durable
- You can control the massage completely with your own hands
- The price is incredibly affordable
- There’s a learning curve to using it, and you won’t be great at first
- It can easily get stuck in your hair if you’re not careful
Manual massagers are not for everyone, and if you’re unwilling to put some effort into learning how to use them effectively they will seem useless.
The Many Great Benefits of Neck and Shoulder Massagers
It’s been well-known for a long time now that massages can help a lot with pain relief, especially if applied by a skilled technician. However, massagers are just machines and that’s why people have doubts about their effectiveness.
So, what’s the deal? How effective are they? Well, as it turns out, they can be almost as effective as a real massage. Though a single massage from a massager doesn’t help as much as a real one does, the ability to regularly massage your sore tissues more than makes up for that.
But how does a massager help with pain, exactly? Well, it’s not just one way but many ways combined together.
- Firstly, massages can help loosen up tense muscles, freeing trapped nerves and reducing the tiredness you feel in certain muscles and muscles directly connected to it.
- Secondly, it can improve your blood circulation allowing your muscles to receive more nutrients and oxygen, helping them recover faster. This can help a lot with pain after exercising or after injuries.
Besides blood, massages also help the flow of other fluids, especially lymphatic fluids which can help reduce painful swelling.
In addition to that, massages can help train up your muscles, making them a bit stronger, so they’re better able to handle the everyday strain.
Massages also help release natural chemicals in your body which have inherent analgesic properties stronger than even the strongest of painkillers. The best part of it all? Massages are completely natural.
If you’re feeling down all the time, a massager can be one of the best remedies there is. Massages can help combat various anxiety disorders, depression, and mood disorders while also making you feel more energized and focused.
But how does this happen?
When you’re getting a massage, your body tends to release certain neurotransmitters and hormones. Included among those are chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, all of which help improve your mood and heighten your mental focus.
As a bonus, they also have natural analgesic properties which add to other pain relieving properties that a massage already provides. The reduction of pain in itself can also help to improve your mood.
As I mentioned, a massage can help improve your blood circulation and provide your tissues with more nutrients and oxygen. But how does a massage do that?
There’s an easy explanation – by relieving the tension in your muscles, it stops them from pinching your blood vessels, both large and small, allowing your blood to flow easier.
The application of heat also helps a lot with it, since it causes your blood vessels to expand which allows more blood to pass through them. Because of this, massages are great for treating hypertension and help lower your blood pressure, both in the short-term and the long-term, with regular application.
It also helps with the circulation of lymphatic fluids, allowing swellings to go down quicker and letting your body get rid of toxins more efficiently.
The reason why people are so keen to use pain medication is because they can use it anywhere and at any time, it’s so easy. However, pain medication is not a great solution for pain relief, especially in the long-term. You get resistant to it, you start taking larger doses, and you become addicted.
Massage is a great alternative but it takes a lot of time, and you can’t just have it anywhere at any time – you have to schedule an appointment and spend hours of your time on one treatment. One of the best benefits that massagers offer is the ability to make massage as convenient as pain medication is.
These massagers are highly portable, and you can use them on the go, anywhere you like, allowing you to have easy access to all the benefits of a massage without having to interrupt your daily routine.
What to Consider When Buying a Neck and Shoulder Massager
I’ve gotten quite a few neck and shoulder massagers in my day – and most have been bad. That’s just what happened when you’re not experienced enough. However, these days I get it right nearly 100% of the time, and I’ll tell you how I manage to do it – by analyzing the most important aspects of these machines before anything else. Here’s how you can do it as well.
1Choosing the Right Type for You
While you may have seen some of the most common neck and shoulder massagers out there and think they’re all the same, that’s far from the truth. There are quite a few different types out there, besides the most popular one and they’re well worth your consideration.
Neck Massager with Straps
This is the most common form for a neck and shoulder massager, probably the one you’ve seen going around.
Its massage nodes are located in a bundle that’s covered with fabric, and it has two hand straps that are meant to help you hold it in place. The controls are usually located on one of the straps.
They can be quite bulky, but they are convenient when you use them since the controls are easy to reach and you get a little bit of extra control by pulling on the straps.
They’re not expensive, usually include a heating function and can be both corded and cordless. Sometimes they’ll come with a car adapter included.
These massagers are probably not the first thing you have in mind when you think of neck and shoulder massagers, but they can be surprisingly effective.
They usually have a U-shape, with handles on either end and massager rollers or balls in the middle. You can use them by holding onto the handles and moving them back-and-forth or up-and-down.
While they might not have the same hands-free convenience that electric massagers do, they are inexpensive and give you a more hands-on feel, with more control.
They’re also light, easy to carry and can be used even in places where no electricity is readily available.
For the most part, these are not a whole lot different than regular neck and shoulder massagers. They also use massage nodes in a fabric casing and commonly have a heating function.
However, they have no straps for your hands, which can be a good thing. They’re more portable while being equally strong and it’s easier to place them on certain areas of your body.
Still, they also usually have integrated controls which are more difficult to reach and easier to press by accident, and you can’t get that additional bit of control by pulling on the straps.
Most of these massagers are multi-purpose, and they can be used on various parts of your body with different attachments. They are most commonly used for back massaging, but neck massaging is a close second.
They are more portable than other types of massagers, but they’re not as intense. However, you can maneuver them better and pinpoint certain key spots and pressure points, which is a plus.
While they’re not the best, they have their place.
2The Number of Massage Nodes
Most neck and shoulder massagers use massage nodes, though a few use vibration as well, but that’s not what you’ll commonly come across.
The number of massage nodes in them is important since the more there are, the more different massage types it will be able to perform.
So, more massage nodes are good in general but it also means a more intense massage overall and if you want something lighter, if you’re sensitive, then you probably want a massager that doesn’t have as many massage nodes.
More massage nodes also means that the massager is larger, heavier and more difficult to carry around.
Most neck and shoulder massagers have either 4 or 8 nodes, though some have 6 for an in-between option and there are some with 12, though they are rare and quite cumbersome.
3Find the Features You Need
Neck and shoulder massagers are great even if they only massage you – but if they could do more? Well, some of them can! These are just some of the great features that neck and shoulder massagers can include – check them out and see which ones are well-suited for your needs.
This is an incredibly common feature these days, so much, so that’s, it’s almost expected. It helps to relax your muscles and adds a more realistic feeling to the massage, so it’s good all-around.
While it’s not quite common, there are massagers out there that offer a cooling option. This can be great for when you need to massage tissues that are sensitive to heat, and it’s something a masseuse can’t offer.
Some massagers allow you to memorize your favorite settings and call them back up with the press of a button. It’s convenient, and there are no downsides to it.
Since most shoulder and neck massagers run on electricity, some manufacturers had the bright idea to use that for electrotherapy.
There are massagers out there which can provide functions akin to TENS and EMS machine and provide you with additional pain relief in that way.
The most customizable massagers out there have functions that allow you to make your own massage modes instead of just using the preset ones. You can adjust the types of massage used as well as intensity, at which intervals they’ll change and so on.
With these massagers, you can get exactly the experience you want.
Most neck and shoulder massagers use controls integrated into them, but there are some that use remote controls. This can be particularly useful if you don’t want to use them on your neck and shoulders.
For example, if you’re using your massager on your feet, bending down to adjust it can be a bother, but a remote control does away with that nuisance.
This is quite a simple feature that a lot of massagers leave out. Having adjustable straps that allow you to fit it onto almost any piece of furniture or part of your body is great.
It can make the massager that much more versatile, and it’s definitely a feature worth having.
4Adjust it to Fit You
One of the key things to finding the right neck and shoulder massager is finding one that’s versatile enough to fit multiple people and which you can adjust to your liking. This is especially important if you’re buying it for the whole family.
Some of these adjustments are commonly available, while others are rarer but they’re all good to have.
Some massagers have just one level of intensity while others can have tens of them. It’s always easier to get exactly the intensity you want if you can fine-tune it.
Massagers with heat can have more adjustments available than just being able to turn it on or off. The best ones will have different heat levels and be able to massage without heat or heat without massaging.
With some massagers, you can change the direction in which the massage nodes spin for a completely different and varied experience.
While shiatsu is popular these days, there are other massage styles out there, and some massagers can allow you to switch between them with a click of a button.
Most massagers can shut off automatically after a certain time, as a safety precaution. However, with some of them, you can adjust this feature, allowing you to time when the massager should turn off or even allow it to run in perpetuity.
Avoiding Stiffness in Your Neck and Shoulders – A Short Guide
No matter how good a massager is, it’s not a magical cure for neck and shoulder pain. If you want your massager to help you, you must help it as well and do your part to keep your neck and shoulders in good shape. Here are just a few simple things you can do during your daily routine to minimize the tension and stiffness in your neck and shoulders.
1Straighten Your Posture
This is an easy one – or so it might seem. Keep your chest puffed out, your shoulders level with your neck and your stomach tight. Try to always be aware of it and maintain it – whether you’re sitting, standing, walking or running.
It might take some mental effort, but you can do it if you try! In case you need a little help, try getting a posture corrector or a back brace. They’re useful tools if you don’t rely on them too much.
2Change the Position of Your Computer
Sitting at a computer for most of the day is an often cause of bad posture and neck stiffness. An easy way to avoid this is by positioning your computer correctly.
Try to place your screen at eye level, so you don’t need to slouch, place your keyboard at elbow-height and try to have your chair placed close enough to it.
In addition to this, you should also take breaks from time to time and walk about a little bit. Apply this to your phone as well, or even a book – always try to keep it at eye-level, so you don’t have to slouch.
3Carry Your Purses and Bags Evenly
People tend to carry their purses, backpacks or shopping back in one hand or over one shoulder. This is generally not a good idea. It puts too much strain on one of your shoulders and brings them out of alignment, leading to shoulder stiffness and pain. This can strain your neck muscles as well.
Always carry only the essentials – don’t overload yourself – and try to distribute the weight evenly between your two shoulders. Using a backpack is ideal and always wear it on both shoulders.
4Sleep on Your Back
One of the ways you can get rid of neck stiffness is by changing your sleeping position. It’s always good to try that before changing the pillow and mattress.
Since sleeping on your back puts your neck in the best position possible, try training yourself to sleep on your back all the time. It might be difficult, but it’s always a bit easier if you consult a good guide on the matter and you can do in a matter of weeks.
It might not seem that important, but staying properly hydrated is a great way to avoid muscle stiffness in general, not just neck stiffness. Your discs, the soft and spongy tissues between your vertebrae, need a lot of lubing as well since they’re mostly water. Keeping yourself hydrated will help them stay strong.
You should drink at least 8 or 9 large glasses of water per day. Ideally, always keep a water bottle with you and drink from it regularly or drink water with each meal.
Try to do some stretches at least two to three times a day, to keep your neck and shoulders in better shape. There are a lot of standing and sitting stretches you can try. They don’t take too much time, and you can even do them at your workplace if you want. It’s easy, it doesn’t take much time, and it does wonders for your neck and shoulders.
Neck and Shoulder Massager FAQ
There’s a lot to know about neck and shoulder massagers, and I’ve only scratched the surface here if you can believe it. I do hope I managed to help you out though and that I’ve answered some of the burning questions you might have.
However, there’s probably one question that’s left unanswered – out of all the neck and shoulder massagers presented here, which one is the absolute best?
Well, I can only give you my opinion on the matter, but I think the best neck and shoulder massager is definitely the InstaShiatsu+ Neck, Shoulder & Full Body Massager With Heat, Model # IS-2000.
It’s cordless, it’s got a lot of adjustability and buying it is completely risk-free – so there’s no reason to pass on it.
A close second would be the Atsuwell Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager with Heat since it’s functional, it delivers a good massage and can be used hands-free while not costing too much.
If you’re not up for either of those and are on a tight budget, then take a look at the Medcursor Shiatsu Kneading Corded Massager with Heat . It’s got all the functions you would expect, and it’s great for the price.
If you’re ready, go out and buy one of these massagers and post your thoughts and questions in the comments and I will get to them pronto! See you next time!
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