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Are you looking for the best massager to relieve your neck and shoulder pain?
After a stressful day at work, many of us need the relaxing effects of a massage. However, time and budget constraints often prevent us from booking an appointment at the nearest spa or with a local masseuse.
The next best option is to get your own neck and shoulder massager.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing the five best neck and shoulder massager options available in the market. Hopefully, the information we provide today can help you decide which neck and shoulder massager works best for your needs.
Don't have time to read the entire review?
If you're a busy person who doesn't have time to read this entire review, we've simplified everything. Here is a table to show you a quick rating of the best neck and shoulder massagers.
Best Choice For…
Best overall for quality materials, hands-free deep-tissue Shiatsu massage, heated massage option with auto shutdown mode
Best portable, deep-tissue massager, with a car adapter and a convenient carry case
Best non-electric, non-handheld massager for the relief of shoulder and neck pain; works using principles of acupressure
Best handheld cordless, electric/battery-operated massager
Best handheld non-battery-operated/non-electric massager for hard-to-reach areas in the back, neck, and shoulders; ideal for those who would prefer a non-electric massager
Who Needs a Neck and Shoulder Massager?
A lot of us could benefit from using massagers.
Nevertheless, these devices are most sought after by those who suffer from tense neck and shoulder muscles, as well as those who have muscular or soft-tissue disorders.
People who suffer from the following often find relief with the use of a massager:
- Joint stiffness
- Muscle soreness
- Sleeping difficulties
- Poor blood circulation
- Neck, shoulder, and/or back pain
The Benefits of Using a Massager
There are both physical and mental benefits to using a massager. A good neck and shoulder massager can help with pain reduction in your muscles. For example, a massager is effective in reducing pain in the lower back and shoulders, as well as relieving tension headaches.
If you have a habit of tensing your muscles when you are stressed, using a massager will help loosen up the tight muscles that result from your tension. It can also make your muscles feel better by hastening muscle recovery. Getting a massage immediately after a workout can speed up muscle recovery by boosting circulation to the muscles that have been impacted, which can help reduce soreness the next day and get you back into the gym faster.
Using a neck and shoulder massager can also reduce symptoms of anxiety and calm you down if you are under stress. The relaxing effects of a massage can reduce anxiety by inviting you to release the tension in your muscles and take a mental break from everyday life. Consequently, massage has also been proven to help lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is a health condition that people suffer from worldwide, and thousands die from every day. One reason that massage helps reduce blood pressure is because it helps your muscles relax and your blood flow freely through your body, which helps ensure that your arteries are wide enough for your blood to pass through.
Finally, because massage can help combat symptoms of stress and anxiety, it can also promote better sleep quality. With the help of a neck and shoulder massager, a massage can improve sleep quality and prevent insomnia. Using a massager at night before going to sleep can help you relax from the day and signal to your body that it is time to rest.
If these benefits sound good to you, what should you keep in mind when shopping for the best massager handheld options? Let's take a look at some important factors.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Neck and Shoulder Massager for Stress Relief
Consider your mobility.
If your mobility is restricted or you are not flexible enough, you might need a hands-free electric massager as opposed to a manual one. You want your massager to be user-friendly for you, which may be different from what some other people need. Think about where your pain is the worst and see if you are able to reach that area with your hands before shopping for a massager.
Choose the massage technique for your needs.
Some massagers have massage technique options, such as:
- Heat therapy
Shiatsu– A shiatsu massage helps relieve any form of pain, stress, and trouble in your body. This type of massage also plays an important role in promoting your overall health, as it has a positive impact on your hormonal, lymphatic, and circulatory systems.
Most models of this type of massager are shiatsu neck massagers, as this is one of the most common neck and shoulder massage techniques. This technique involves rolling firm pressure on your various pressure points. Shiatsu massagers imitate the technique of this type of massage using revolving nodes that produce a soothing feel, which effectively promotes muscle relief and relaxation.
Vibration– Vibrating massagers are used for effective therapy because they quickly loosen your sore muscles. This type of massage relaxes your deep muscles, which stimulates blood flow and leads to other massage benefits. This technique is best used on your shoulders, back, and neck for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
Percussion– With percussion massage, solenoids (an insulated wire that transforms electric power into motion) stimulate various parts of your body, including your neck. This technique offers a deep massage to any tight areas of your body.
Kneading– Kneading devices imitate the feeling of having pressure applied to your body using palms and fingers. By pressing your body's soft tissues against your bones’ hard surfaces, your tight muscles are relieved of tension.
Heat therapy– Neck massagers with heat are able to loosen up your muscles more effectively by warming them up. These are often used on muscles that are particularly sore or tight.
Are you going to use your massager while you’re traveling, or at home? Consider a plugged device if you’re using it at home and a battery-operated one for traveling. (Note: Do not use a massager while driving.) You can also choose a non-electric option, which can be especially helpful if you have someone around who can help you get to the spots on your body that are the most sore. For massages on the go, choose a small, handheld, wireless device that you can use anywhere that you need to take it out.
Look for a massager that can be used for other parts of your body, not just on your neck and shoulders. The best handheld massagers will be able to tailor your experience to wherever you need the massage at the time, and offer a variety of intensities to relax your body to remove tight, sore muscles. A versatile massager will be able to provide you with more flexibility around your entire body and increased energy due to the improved circulation it induces.
It’s not a guarantee that the most expensive massagers will perform the best. Look for something that gives value for money. Because you need to find a product that suits your specific needs, an expensive massager that offers many different settings might not be any more beneficial to you than a simple device that costs much less. Look more at the features of the product than the price, and compare those with your specific needs.
With these things in mind, let's look at the best options on the market today.
Best Neck and Shoulder Massagers to Relieve Your Stress
This is the best overall option for quality materials. It offers a hands-free, deep-tissue Shiatsu massage, as well as a heated massage option. It also comes with an auto-shutdown mode, which is perfect for those who may fall asleep during their massage.
This massager offers both portability and functionality. The fact that it is in the form of a pillow allows you to lie back on this massager and get a relaxing and effective massage. This massager also has convenient straps that you can use to attach it to the back of your chair at work or the headrest of anywhere you are sitting, so you can use it when you are not able to be in a horizontal position.
It is also an ergonomic and versatile option because it can easily fit behind your neck, as well as on other body contours, such as your lower and upper back, core muscles, calves, and thigh areas.
The multidirectional nodes of this massager help work your muscles in a variety of ways, ensuring that they get loose from all angles. The nodes automatically change direction every minute to make sure that your massage is complete.
This product also offers an advanced heating function that helps soothe your aching muscles, which can be easily turned on and off. It has an overheat protection device with a 20-minute auto shut-off feature, so if your massager exceeds a safe temperature, the motor will automatically shut off to make sure the user is safe and the unit does not become damaged.
- Has an ergonomic design that is comfortable on your neck and other parts of your body.
- Has multidirectional nodes that mirror the effects of a massage from a masseuse.
- This device offers a heating option that can help reduce pain.
- Does not offer a vibration mode.
- Does not reach the sides of your neck.
- Must be plugged in to work.
This massager is the best portable, deep-tissue massager. It comes with a car adapter and a convenient carry case, making it ideal for people who are on the go. This product is guaranteed to give you a massage that is very close to the massage experience that you would get from a professional masseuse. It is effective in helping users deal with acute pain in their muscles that would typically hinder comfortable movement.
It includes eight bidirectional kneading nodes to work your muscles, in addition to an adjustable heating and vibration system that you can tailor to your needs easily by using the controls on the device. You can choose different vibration modes or alter your preferred amount of heat with the help of these controls.
You can also easily use this massager on other parts of your body, such as your calves, thighs, and feet. Using this product for 15 minutes per day will give you more than enough relief to get rid of all the stiffness and aches in your muscles.
This product is portable and comes with a leather pouch, making it great for storage and carrying.
- Gives users easy control of heat and vibration.
- Very portable.
- Very lightweight.
- The motors are not durable.
- Only provides a minimal amount of heat.
- It comes with a short cord, which may be inconvenient.
This is the best non-electric, non-handheld massager for the relief of shoulder and neck pain. It works using principles of acupressure to provide you with full-body pain relief. It offers the benefits of portability and focused efficacy, and comes with an extensive instruction set to teach users exactly how to use the mat and its features.
This option features over 6200 moderately sharp pressure spikes, an acupressure pillow with 1700 pressure spikes, a carrying case, and an extensive instruction set. The mat is easy to roll up and take with you on the go, and it can provide you with health benefits in less than 10 minutes per day.
One thing that really sets this mat apart from others is its extensive instructions, which detail how to put the mat down, how to lie on it, and cleaning instructions. The in-depth instructions also offer precise coaching on how to use the mat for your specific issues. The guide teaches users the best techniques to address their specific pain, such as shoulder pain or lower back pain.
The instructions also offer a manufacturer-approved methodology for maintaining the mat, which means that you can keep this mat clean and in good shape for a long time. The majority of people who have used this mat have noticed its powerful and immediate impact on back pain.
Not only can the Nayoya mat relieve back pain, it can also reduce anxiety. Some people report that this mat is also effective in improving sleep quality. With a gentle touch, this mat offers great pain relief.
- Comes with great instructions.
- Spikes will not leave marks on your skin.
- Smaller than other accupressure mats.
- Spikes might not be sharp enough for some people.
- Some people prefer more spikes on their accupressure mats.
This is the best handheld cordless massager available. It is electric and battery-operated, so you can use it anywhere. This percussion massager has a powerful motor and several interchangeable massage heads that offer variable speeds. It is light enough to use comfortably to get the benefits of percussion therapy to relax and reset your muscles.
You can use this massager on a variety of muscle groups, including your feet, legs, shoulders, neck, back, and arms. Because it is lightweight and cordless, you can take it with you to the office, gym, or while you're traveling. It has a long battery life and recharges quickly, so it will be ready whenever you are to provide you with some relaxation.
The percussion element of this massager sends vibrations deep into your muscle tissue that relax your muscles without the potential pain of kneading. This massager will also not result in bruising, which can be common with other options.
This RENPHO massager comes with a Li-ion battery that will last for up to 140 minutes of use. The motor produces up to 3600 pulses per minute, which are variable, allowing you to choose the best setting for your needs. It also comes with five interchangeable heads for you to customize your massage experience to the muscle group that you are targeting, making this deep-tissue, handheld massager truly a full-body product.
The control panel allows you to choose from four massage strengths and three speeds. The highest intensity is ideal for those who prefer hard massages. Its long handle makes it simple to reach your lower back or between your shoulder blades, making this product a well-designed machine that offers a strong and effective massage.
- Has a lightweight but powerful motor.
- Provides great pain relief in large muscle groups.
- Can be used without a cord.
- Not as durable as other options.
- Emits a high-pitched sound.
- Some find it does not hold its charge as promised.
This is the best handheld, non-battery-operated/non-electric massager for hard-to-reach areas in your back, neck, and shoulders. It is ideal for those who would prefer a non-electric massager. It is a lightweight self-massage tool that includes 11 trigger point knobs offering therapy for muscle tension and stress.
You can use this massager by hooking it over your shoulder or around your body (which will give you myofascial release), and by massaging into your deep tissue in your shoulders, lower back, and muscles.
This product has been around, unchanged, for over a decade. The design has been perfected to help users locate and relieve muscle spasms, painful knots, and trigger points. It comes with a 12-page instructional guide to teach you how to effectively perform your self-treatment.
This massager is made out of high-quality polyethylene and weighs only 1.25 pounds. It is 100% designed and made in the USA, and has been proven to be three times stronger than similar designs. This is a great option for anyone who is suffering from chronic muscle pain, and it is guaranteed for life.
- Best non-electric option.
- Can access any part of your body.
- Has three styles of therapy knobs.
- This product is a bit large to carry with you while traveling.
- Some find the plastic to be too hard.
- Requires the user to do the work manually.
All the neck and shoulder massagers reviewed today are the best in their categories. They all provide relief from neck and shoulder pain caused by stress. However, one product stands out as the winner, and that’s the Zyllion Shiatsu Pillow Massager With Heat, for its high-quality materials, hands-free design, deep-tissue Shiatsu massage, heated option, and auto-shutdown mode.