If you suffer from back, neck, or other pain but can’t afford a pricey massage chair or regular visits to the chiropractor, a good back massager can be the perfect, affordable, and effective solution for you.
Overall, a good back massager will stimulate blood circulation and help relax any stiff or sore muscles, and hopefully will relieve your specific pain. Plus it will help relax, sleep better and improve your mood.
There is a very wide variety of back massagers on the market. Some of them rely on vibrations, others on heat, some are portable, others are not, and some are for specific body parts while others are more universal.
This huge variety can be quite overwhelming, so after testing hundreds of back massagers and speaking to doctors and chiropractors, we have come up with an ultimate list of the top 10 back massagers for 2022.
Naturally, when you are choosing the perfect back massager for yourself, you need to read the instructions and if possible speak to a doctor about the suitability of the device for your particular condition and health state.
Read on to find out which our favorite picks are when it comes to back massagers in 2022.
This Shiatsu massager kit will save you a lot of time and money and will truly help alleviate the acute pain and stiffness you are experiencing.
It can help ease the stiffness of the neck and help relieve fatigue, as well as soothe your muscles by promoting better blood circulation to the affected area.
This back massager is portable, so you can get quick pain relief wherever you are. It is perfect if you tend to get all stiff and sore when traveling, or for some relaxation time while working or when you are off on a business trip or vacation.
The reasonably priced massaging kit is sold with a leather travel pouch, so you just need to pop it in your bag and you are set to a much more relaxing and painless time no matter where you are going.
The Resteck shiatsu kneading massage unit is exceptionally effective for resolving that unpleasant discomfort, tightness, and tenseness of the back, shoulders, and neck. It can help alleviate even strong stabbing pain in the back too.
You will say goodbye to the restricted and painful motion from back and neck stiffness and pain, as well as to the anxiety and discomfort of feeling sore and tight all the time with this wonderful back massager.
Even if you are not experiencing any particular pains, you can use the kneading massaging kit to help you relax after a long day at work, or after some strenuous activity.
You will immediately feel relieved and happy once you start using this kit.
It is made of top-quality leather and has nodes that perfectly mimic the hand when massaging the body. It also has an adjustable heat setting, so you can choose the perfect heat level for the finest results.
Pretty soon the soothing heat will penetrate the skin and will help the blood flow in the area and relax all the built-up tension of the muscles.
You can easily reach any part of your body with this long massaging kit. It has two hanging loops for a more comfortable grip and for resting your hands during use.
The best part is that you are in charge during the entire procedure by easily controlling the direction, the heat, and the movement of the unit on your body.
This is a perfect massaging kit for the back and neck, as well as for the legs, thighs, calves, and buttocks. Of course, you can use it to relieve the pain and tension in your shoulders and arms and even the palms of your hands. Even better, it is highly efficient for a soothing foot massage when your feet are all tired and sore.
We can honestly say, that this reasonably priced massaging kit will help improve your quality of life, especially if you suffer from chronic pain and illnesses which cause it. It is easy to use, can be used on all body parts, and the intensity, heat, and pressure of the massage are controlled by you and you only at all times!
Save a load of money for professional massages, and treat yourself to this amazingly effective, top-quality massaging kit from Resteck!
Our runner-up is the Nekteck Shiatsu deep kneading massage pillow, which will give you the feeling of getting a professional back, lower back, and hip massage. The massager has straps which you can use to attach it to larger body parts. This means you can massage larger areas of your body without needing to hold the massager.
The unit has three massage speeds, and the intensity of the vibrations can be adjusted manually so that you make the massage as comfortable and as effective as possible.
The Nekteck uses 8 built-in Shiatsu massage balls, which is twice as many of the other similar devices we have tested have.
Its adjustability will help minimize the discomfort and pain of putting too much pressure on a sore or tense muscle group.
You can choose the speed and the direction via the three preset customized massaging options. The control of the direction allows for a two-directional movement that mimics a real person massaging experience. The direction of the massage heads will turn automatically every minute, for an even better experience and for the greatest results.
The back massager has a 10-minute timer to ensure that get the optimal massage time. Of course, it is safe to use, and you can turn it on and off manually as well, depending on your needs and preference. It has an overheating protection mechanism, so you can rest assured that you will be safe at all times.
It too can be used whenever and at any time you want, and even comes with a car adapter so you can use it while traveling.
The heating it provides will soothe the tense muscles and will make you relaxed and happy.
The massaging device is designed to follow the contours of your body and thus to focus on a specific muscle group or area.
It comes with an AC adapter, and cannot be used in cordless mode, but the cord is long enough to ensure a comfortable massage experience. Plus, you get a remote control to make all the adjustments of the settings easily and without removing the pillow from the massaged area.
The pillow is suitable for massaging the back, lower back, shoulders, and neck. It has a soft cover for added comfort.
We love the fact that this is a versatile, portable, and highly customizable massaging pillow. Even though it is not cordless, you can plug it in anywhere – at home, in the office, and in your car. It is sold at a very affordable price, and the results will surely make you very happy with this purchase.
Although the Back Buddy may look a bit strange and different from other back massagers you have seen, we can assure you that this is an ingenious and highly effective massager. In fact, the Back Buddy has been helping people deal with back pain for over 10 years now.
The Back Buddy has 11 massage knobs which have been specifically positioned to allow you to get the most out of the device, and to let you reach all painful pressure points in order to alleviate muscle knots and spasms.
The unit has three types of knobs. One is a dull and rounded one for a surface massaging experience, another is more pointed and is made to penetrate deeper to reach a specific area, and there are two dull ones that you can use for massaging the sides of the spine and the buttocks.
The simple and yet very clever design of the Back Buddy allows you to apply just as much pressure on the painful, sore, or tense spot as you need.
It is very light (1.25 lbs.), so you won’t end up with sore and tired arms even after some extensive massaging. Still, it does require that you hold and maneuver with the unit, which makes it not so suitable for those of you with restricted mobility of the arms and hands. To make its use easier and more comfortable, the manufacturers have designed the easy to grip and stronger handle.
The Back Buddy was designed and has been made in the USA ever since 1995. It is made of high-density polyethylene which is absolutely safe and free from any harmful chemicals and elements. It is hypoallergenic and can be used just about anywhere – even in the shower or in the swimming pool. You can use it standing up, sitting, laying or you can use it on somebody else.
The tool was designed and has been approved by a number of leading chiropractors, physical and massage therapists as safe and as one of the best tools for self-massage using Trigger Point Therapy, Deep Tissue Massage Therapy, and Myofascial Release.
It is especially helpful for those of you suffering from chronic pain and fibromyalgia, but it can be used as a stress relief tool as well if you feel tense and fatigued.
It can successfully be used on all body parts including the back, neck, lower back, shoulders, hips, thighs, buttocks, feet, arms, and chest.
How much pressure is applied and where exactly it is applied depends on you and only you with this incredible massager.
We love how simple and yet effective it is, as well as the fact is that it costs so little, and yet it has no mechanisms and electronics, so it can last you a whole lifetime. The manufacturer sells it with a 100% lifetime guarantee!
- Provides highly efficient massage via the Repetitive Vibration Function
- The mechanism moves up and down to provide a full massage of the back, neck, shoulders, calves, thighs, and feet
- Improves the blood and lymph circulation with the added heating function
- The 8 shiatsu massage heads provide a push, point, and kneading massage similar to that done by a professional masseur
- The massage nodes help relieve soreness, knots, tension, spasms, and pains by triggering all the troubled spots
- It has a U-like design which is ergonomic and fits all body parts perfectly
- You can pick between 3 intensity and speed settings – low, medium, and high
- Change the direction of the massage node rotation with a simple push of a button
- The massager switches directions every minute
- Comes with a 100-240 V AC adapter
- Built-in overheating protection shuts the unit down after 15 minutes of use
- Can be used at home, in the office, or when you are traveling
- Can help you relax after a long day and will improve the quality of your sleep
- Removable dust guards can be washed safely
- 90-day money-back satisfaction guarantee
- Very compact (only 2 inches thick) and can be secured to any chair at home, at work, when traveling, or in the car
- Ergonomic design and nifty straps for a hands-free self-back massage
- Suitable for the neck, lower back, ankles, knees, thighs, calves, abdomen, and elbows
- The integrated 4 Shiatsu massaging nodes provide perfect acupressure to the sore, tense or painful area
- The massaging heads change their direction every minute and mimic the hands of a masseuse
- It emits heat for added muscle relaxation and improved blood circulation to the area
- Relieves stress for just 20 minutes
- Overheating protection and auto shut off after 20 minutes provide a perfectly safe experience
- Comes with safety-approved AC and car adaptors
- You get a replacement cover
If you want a massager which uses TENS (transcutaneous electro-neuro-stimulation), we strongly suggest you go with the Nursal TENS rechargeable massager.
- Uses TENS which is highly effective for relief of chronic pain caused by intercostal neuralgia, osteochondritis, post-traumatic neuralgia, and other musculoskeletal ailments
- TENS is FDA approved
- Helps relieve back pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and pain caused by arthritis
- It has 8 reusable and self-adhesive pads which are easily fastened to the painful areas and which work in 10 intensity levels and in 15 different modes, depending on your needs
- The package contains 2 large, 4 medium, and 2 small pads
- The device penetrates the muscles deeper than hands can
- No need for apply the gel before use
- The unit is portable, and you can literally carry it in your pocket with you, so you can use it on the go
- The lithium battery holds a charge for 10 hours of continuous use
- It is charged via USB, so you don’t need to spend money on batteries
- An easy to read LCD display will show you the massaging mode, the time of the treatment, and the intensity
- There is a low battery indicator, so you know when it is time to charge your massager
- Comes with a 10 to a 60-minute timer which you can adjust manually
- The default timer is 20 minutes after which the unit shuts off automatically
- It is an affordable alternative to getting chiropractic care or massages by professional masseuses or physical therapists
- It has 8 kneading rollers
- You can choose between two massaging directions and three massaging speeds
- Emits heat which relieves the tension and soreness of the muscles and helps improve the blood circulation
- You can switch the heat on and off with the push of a button
- Very simple and intuitive control panel
- Suitable for the back, neck, shoulders waist, legs, and arms
- It has convenient loops for relaxing your arms during use and also for controlling the pressure which is being applied
- It switches off after 15 minutes of use, but you can use it for another 15 minutes immediately if necessary
- Comes with an AC adapter with a 10ft cord, and a 12V car adapter, so you can use it wherever you want
- Sold with a 2-year warranty
- The infrared heat emitted is safe and yet is highly useful for those suffering from muscle stress and tension
- Has a nifty hand function which will massage your sore muscles just like a human hand would
- You can choose between the 3 strength levels – low, medium, and high
- The massager has 4 massage balls which will provide you with an exceptional kneading massage
- The rotation direction of the nobs switches automatically every minute
- The massager turns off automatically after 15 minutes of use
- It comes with an AC power adapter as well as a car charger for added portability
- The heat function can be turned on and off
- Excellent for relieving soreness, and tenseness of the neck, shoulders, back, abdomen, legs, and feet
- It is perfect for a relaxing massage after exercising or after work
- You can return it and get refunded or get an exchange up to 2 years after the purchase
- Very affordable for the value provided
- Uses a powerful percussion massaging action to relieve the tension in the muscles
- It has 1 standard and 3 added massage modes which are designed specifically for the shoulders the upper back or the lower back
- It emits soothing heat which will help relax the muscles even more
- You can adjust the pulses to up to 720 pulses per minute
- It has comfortable straps which will allow you to get a hands free massage even in the hard to reach areas of your body
- The massager has 4 massage nodes – two small and two large
- It uses Shiatsu and heat rather than vibrations
- It comes with an AC power adapter
- It can be used for massaging all body parts – the neck, lower back, shoulders, legs, feet, arms, and chest
- It is compact and you can take it anywhere with you and use it discreetly in your office, car, or at home
- An ergonomic design that follows the contours of your body
- Helps relieve pain, knots, stress, and tension
- The 4 kneading massage heads provide an experience similar to getting a real massage
- The nodes change directions every minute for an added effect
- The body is made of PU premium leather paired with breathable mesh fabric for improved heat penetration and to keep the pillow clean from dust
- Has a 20-minute timer
- Safe to use thanks to the overheat protection mechanism
- You can use it with heat or not
- The nodes can be heated up to 112 degrees Fahrenheit to improve blood circulation and for alleviating the tense or sore muscles
- Excellent for healing sprains as well as for everyday relaxation
- 30-day satisfaction guarantee
- 2-year warranty
Why get a back massager?
Home massage devices have been popular in all cultures for a long time. Since recently, when office jobs have become predominant in the Western culture, these self-massaging devices have gained even more popularity, due to the fact that more people are spending hours sitting in uncomfortable positions and suffer from stiffness, neuralgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other dysfunctions of the spine and the joints due to the sedentary lifestyles they lead.
These ingenious devices are made for home use, but many athletes use them as replacement therapy, and doctors also use them for rehabilitation.
The main advantage of a good back massager is that it doesn’t require a second person and is safe and easy to use by just about anybody.
How to choose the perfect back massager for your needs?
Massaging devices are made based on the four basic classical massaging techniques including kneading, stroking, vibration or rubbing.
The ones using vibration can help relieve spasms and tension in the muscles. The deep kneading ones help stimulate the muscles as well as improve the blood circulation to the treated area.
If you need a back massager for the whole back, you should opt for a Shiatsu nodded cushion or massager which covers the entire back. Keep in mind that the Shiatsu ball rotations and motions can be a bit too crude for people in a lot of pain or those who are more sensitive.
The handheld massaging units which have massage heads are excellent for those of you with spastic or tense muscles. They are great for instant relief after sports or after spending hours in an uncomfortable posture. The handheld massagers allow you to focus on the exact spots and areas which need more attention, as you will direct them and control them yourself.
If you have problems with the neck, shoulders, or upper back, then you should opt for a neck and shoulder Shiatsu pillow or another massager.
For those of you looking for a massager to use while you are driving, the most suitable type is a heated and vibrating cushion, which will alleviate any stiffness or soreness without disrupting your driving.
Massaging devices which use electrostimulation such as TENS are for the relief of chronic pain resulting from musculoskeletal problems. And those who provide EMS electrical stimulation can help untrained or paralyzed people improve their muscle tone.
Types of back massagers
Massagers come in various forms, types, and sizes, so you should pick the one which suits your needs and your budget the most.
Here are some of the main types of electric and non-electric massagers available on the market.
These are actually bulky pieces of furniture which you are going to add to your home and office. They are not portable and are quite expensive, but if you can afford one of those, a chair with a massage function is probably the closest you will get to get a real massage.
Massage chair pads
These can be attached to your favorite chair with hooks, and provide full back coverage for a highly efficient home or office full back massage.
Cushion back massagers
Cushion massagers are usually compact and can easily be tucked behind the back, neck, or another aching body part for a soothing deep massage.
Handheld back massagers
These are usually long and light and allow you to maneuver around and apply as much pressure in the area you need. They are inexpensive and yet highly efficient if you want to have full control over where and how the acupressure is being done. They do require the use of your hand and are not suitable for people who have limited mobility of the arms and hands though.
These can be draped around the waist, lower back, shoulders, or other parts of the body and will massage the specific areas without you having to use your hands.
TENS massage units
These use electrode pads which send pulses which stimulate the nerves and help relieve tension and pain deeper than hand massages.
These are simple devices which you can use to relieve the pain and tension in different parts of the body manually.
Wooden ball massagers
The wooden balls are run up and down the painful area to provide relief by rubbing the sore area.
S-shaped massagers are stick massagers with nodes which are placed in a way that allows you to maneuver and treat the exact source of pain and tension.
3 prong massagers
Handheld and very simple massaging devices which will help you treat and work out any knots and tension in your body.
Foam rollers come with either hard or soft exteriors and are used by rolling them up and down the painful area for muscle tension relief.
Features to look for when choosing the right back massagers
Make sure that you pick a massager which has a shape that will allow you to reach and target the source of tension and pain you are experiencing. The differently shaped back massagers have a different efficiency level depending on the part of the body you want to use them on, so make sure you read our reviews, as well as the instructions by the manufacturer to make sure you are picking a massager which will actually help you alleviate the soreness, tension or other problems.
The size of the device
Do you need a massager which will cover your entire back or another large area, or do you want a more portable one, which you can carry with you to work or when traveling? Size does matter, so you need to decide whether you are looking for portability and compactness, or for a larger massager which you will use mostly at home.
The massage nodes
The different Shiatsu massaging devices have different types, sizes, and numbers of massage nodes. Some have a combination of different types and sizes, and others have identical ones. Choose the massager which has the right number and set of nodes if you want to ensure you get the deep and intense massages you expect.
Electric vs non-electric massagers
Non-electric massagers are usually less expensive and can be used just about anywhere without the need for plugging them in or recharging them. Electric back massagers are easier on your hands and many of them provide a completely hands-free body massage, but they do require an electrical outlet, batteries or charging. So, you need to decide which type is the perfect option for you.
The kneading function is the right choice for those of you who want to relieve painful knots.
Percussion style massagers
This type of massager provides a feeling of thundering on the back or another body part, which is excellent if you want a unit for deep and intense massages. On the other hand, if you want something less intense, you should pick one of the gentler massager types.
Shiatsu massagers are designed and made based on the famous Japanese massaging technique, and the good Shiatsu style massagers can provide you with a massage which is very close to a real one done by a professional masseur.
If you prefer a massager which you can personally control by setting the direction, motion, and pressure, then you should opt for a hand-held wand massaging unit which will allow you to reach all parts of the body and to target the pain or tension directly.
Vibration adds extra relief during a massage and is suitable for those of you looking for a relaxing back massager.
The added heat function in back massagers will help stimulate the pain sensors and block the pain, and it also helps increase and improve the blood and lymph circulation which will reduce the tension in the treated area. A heat option is also a plus if you want added comfort during your massage, especially on a cold day.
A timer function
Massaging devices usually have an automatic shut-off function after the unit has been working for a while, but for added convenience, you may want to buy a back massager which has a timer which you can set, so that you can relax and even nap during use.
Auto shut off function
For safety reasons and for preventing overheating most good electrical back massagers have an auto shut-off function. This is a safety precaution which some of you might find unnerving if you are looking for longer and uninterrupted massaging sessions.
Corded or cordless
Back massagers can be corded or cordless, so you need to decide whether you want a more portable device which you can use anywhere and at any time, or another one which needs to be plugged in a power outlet. Fortunately, many of the good back massagers on our list come with additional adapters for use in the car, so you may want to look into one of these if you want a massager for your home, office, and when on the road. Battery-powered devices need to be recharged or have their batteries replaced, but they are more portable.
Intensity adjustability and settings
The more customizable the settings of the massager are, the more versatile it is. If you want a back massager which both you and another family member can use or a device which you can use on your good and on your not-so-good days, then go for a unit which has adjustable intensity setting.
Different speed settings
The same goes for massagers which have speed settings. If you choose a back massager with a choice of slow, medium, fast, or other customizable speed settings you will be able to set it to the exact speed and intensity you need at any moment.
Choose a light and compact back massager if you want to take it to work or on a trip with you. If you need a back massager which you intend to use in your car only, then you can opt for one of the cushion massagers which have car chargers and which are safe for use while driving.
Safety precautions to keep in mind
Always speak to a professional before buying a back massager if you have any underlying health problems, or if you are picking it specifically for a particular ailment. Also, if you are pregnant, make sure you speak to your doctor and read the instruction manual before using a back massager.
Some electric back massagers are not recommended for use by people with pacemakers. Others should not be used while driving.
Also, keep in mind that overusing a massaging device can harm your muscles, so follow the instructions.
In other words, always read the instructions and the warnings carefully before using your back massaging device!
We hope that our reviews and our short guide for choosing the best back massager have helped you make up your mind about the most suitable one for you!
Choose any of the back massagers in our top 10 list and you will not only be happy with the results, but you will also save a load of money for professional massages and physical therapy.
Once you start using the most suitable back massaging device for your needs you will start feeling the pain relief you have been wanting for so long. These ingenious massagers will also help you relax, improve your mood and allow you to sleep soundly at night once again without the soreness, stiffness, and tension in your muscles!
Good luck with your purchase and enjoy your personal back massaging device!
- Case Study: The Use of Massage Therapy to Relieve Chronic Low-Back Pain
- Zen Shiatsu II Sample Case Study
Last update on 2022-09-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API