Whether you struggle from chronic conditions or simply feel fatigue from sitting (or slouching) at a desk all day, back pain is an extremely common issue among Americans. According to research from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), it’s estimated that up to 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Even more jarring? Back pain is one of the top reasons for missed workdays, accounting for 264 million lost workdays in a single year. Yikes.
If back pain is getting in the way of your daily life, you should speak to a health professional. However, if you’re searching for some instant relief or even just a way to relax after a long day, back massagers just might be the answer. Here, we’ve rounded up the best of the best — everything from manual messagers to battery-operated deep muscle massaging tools to massage pillows.
Best back massagers for everyday pain
Best manual back massager: LiBa Back and Neck Massager ($15; Amazon)
This is definitely one of the strangest-looking back massagers, but it works wonders. The shape allows you to target tight muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back — it even works well on the lower back.
Best for targeted spots: HoMedics Percussion Action Massager with Heat ($32; amazon.com)
This handheld device gives you targeted massage experience and is great for working out hard-to-reach tight spots or knots in your back. The ergonomic handle allows you to grip if from different angles for more versatility while dual pivoting massage heads deliver up to 3,100 pulses per minute. Also nice: heat nodes add an extra soothing effect.
Best massage gun: Theragun Prime ($234; Amazon)
You’ve likely heard of the Theragun, a battery-operated deep muscle massage device. It’s on the pricier side, but with a nearly perfect rating on Amazon, it just might be worth it. With fives speeds that deliver up to 2,400 percussions per minute, it was designed specifically to break up lactic acid and stimulate blood flow. There are several different models of the Theragun (including a new mini version for $159), but this is a great mid-tier option.
Best neck massager: Resteck Electric Shiatsu Back Neck and Shoulder Massager ($64, Amazon)
This heated neck massager not only provides deep tissue massage for your sore neck muscles but also comes with a portable pouch so you can easily take it on the go. It uses 3D kneading nodes to deliver motions that resemble real hands and gives you the ability to customize the direction, pressure, heat, and speed.
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Best massage pillow: Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massage Pillow ($59, Amazon)
Kick back and relax with this heated massage pillow that fits nicely behind your head as well as on your upper and lower back. You can even rest your calves or abdomen on it to relieve pain in other areas of the body. It also uses three-dimensional deep-kneading shiatsu massage nodes to work tight muscles and automatically changes direction every minute.
Best massage pad: Comfier Full Body Massage Mat ($84, Amazon)
Want to achieve spa-level relaxation at home? This full-body massage pad will do the trick. The vibrations and heat therapy are designed to give you the best night’s sleep while relieving sore, tense muscles and increasing blood circulation. With 10 massage motors to cover your entire body, three intensity levels, and five massage modes, you’ll feel zen all over.