Chronic pain is a major health problem in the United States with an estimated 50 million people suffering from long-term issues in various parts of the body.
Persistent pain over an extended period of time can lead to even more serious forms of suffering like anxiety, depression, restricted mobility, opioid dependency and overall reduced quality of life.
Pain regularly forces many, really good people, into unwanted surgery and or drug use to attempt to stop, or at least, alleviate the problem.
Sadly, as is often the case, surgery and pills only work to exacerbate the problem even further, leading even the greatest of men and women, down a rabbit hole of no return.
Consequently, one of the most prevalent pain issues people report persists in the back, neck and shoulders.
But there is an alternative to surgery and medication for people who suffer from chronic pain really must experience to believe. And that is the alternative is vibratory massage therapy.
We have put together a list of the best neck and shoulders massagers based on your specific body issue, recent technological advancements and overall market affordability.
- 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain
- Back and neck pain is a major issue for many people
- Pain can cause depression, anxiety and prescription drug use
- Back and neck massagers are a great alternative to surgery
The hand straps of a neck massager allow you to apply as much pressure as you like to pretty much any part of the body.
What are neck massagers?
A mechanical neck massager is a device that can be placed on the back of the neck and shoulders and turned on at various speeds aiding in a personalized relaxing massage.
Neck massage pillows and wands have been around for quite a few years. But with recent innovations and popularity in self-massage technology, neck and shoulders massage devices have made huge strides in effectiveness, overall features and consequently; price.
Depending on the type of neck massager, there are many similarities that can be found with some of the most recent products available. So let’s take a look at the most basic features of a neck and shoulders massager.
The nodes of a neck and shoulders massager are the actual, ball-like, moving parts that rub directly on the muscles of your body. Many of the latest massagers feature eight rotative and pulsating nodes that not only move around in circles, like many of the earlier neck pillows, but also in three-dimensional motions.
The movement of the nodes is said to be designed to resemble the movement along the pressure points that can be found in acupressure reflexology. Often referred to as Japanese shiatsu massage, acupressure can stimulate very specific meridians along tendons and muscle fibers to promote natural electric nerve connectivity with the area in question.
One of the most remarkable, and quite possibly the biggest breakthrough in this technology, is the heating functionality. The application of heat to sore or injured areas of the body, also known as thermotherapy, is one of the oldest methods of treating pain.
When heat is applied to an area of sensitivity, or stagnation, the warmth can stimulate greater circulation and blood flow to activate normal toxin elimination, as well as nutrient distribution within the cells themselves. There are a number of studies that show the positive effects of heat on back pain.
In a clinical trial study reported by the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 87 patients who suffered from acute lower back pain were tested to see if the treatment of thermotherapy could really help alleviate back pain.
Two of the groups were given very specific testing with both heat and cold treatments, and one was treated with a placebo.
According to the study, the patients reported significantly reduced pain compared to oral placebo after five days. And over the next four weeks the patients who received thermotherapy reported continued reductions in pain and improvements with inabilities, such as mobility.
Over a five-week period of testing, the study concluded that the patients who received thermotherapy found remarkable results with pain reduction and improved mobility.
From a study published by the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research to determine the results of back pain after treatment of thermotherapy after five weeks of clinical testing. Levels of pain were tested among three groups.
Adjustable Arm Straps
A majority of the most recent neck and shoulders massagers have an arm harness system feature that allows you to apply pressure and adjust the nodes to pinpoint specific areas. And this can be done to any location placement on the body. So, that means you can use the massager, not only on the neck and shoulders, but around the waist, on the calves, arms, feet, etc.
The ability to be able to use this device anywhere of the body really makes it easy to use as an all-around massage tool that is easy to use, and pack around, when you are on the go, at the office or at home relaxing.
One of the most convenient aspects of the massage devices are the settings features that allow you to control every aspect of your experience. From variable control settings from low intensity to higher speed levels, many devices can even be adjusted to go backward in direction, pressing directly on the pressure point repeatedly and working out those deep knots.
The heat control function is also found in the setting section on the massager. Many people should start out with a low heat setting before moving up to higher temperatures. Though the heating is very beneficial to the muscle healing and circulation, some people are sensitive to heat.
So it is highly recommended to never apply the heating nodes directly to the skin, and be sure to use a towel when applying heat from your massager.
- Nodes, moving parts that rub directly on the muscles
- Heat, stimulates blood flow and healing
- Arm straps, allows the user to control the pressure
- Settings, allows the user to control the speed and heat
Neck and shoulders massagers offer thermotherapy heated acupressure with variable speeds and temperature controls.
What are the health benefits of neck massagers?
Besides improved flexibility and circulation, neck massagers can strengthen the immune system and relieve inflammation through a system called acupoint pressure therapy, or acupressure.
According to a study published by the Journal of Traditional and Contemporary Medicine, the physiological response of increasing endorphin and serotonin to the brain and specific organs through nerves and meridians in the body resulting in improved immune levels in test subjects.
Neck and shoulder massagers are also great for people recovering from temporary to chronic pain from sports activities and physical fitness exertion. According to the same study, subjects were given specific exercises and tested after acupressure massage.
The study showed that after exercise, the concentration of stress hormones and lactic acid could be moderated by stimulating the myelinated neural fibers, which releases endorphins from the hypothalamus into the spinal fluid.
The research found the sedative effect of endorphin release facilitated an improved respiratory response contributing to decreased recovery time in patients.
And for people with anxiety or stress disorders, studies show neck and shoulder massagers can have dramatically lower cortisol levels and increase oxytocin resulting in an overall sense of well being in case studies.
The study also noted the biochemical mechanism of acupressure leads to complex neuro-hormonal response that involves the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, which leads to an overproduction of cortisol in the brain causing a relaxation response.
So research does show positive benefits for those with difficulty relaxing could benefit from the therapeutic effect of neck and shoulders massagers on the body.
- Improves flexibility and circulation
- Strengthens immune system
- Assists in recovery from sports activities
- Lower cortisol and stress levels
- Increases in oxytocin
- Gives a sense of well-being
Who are neck massagers good for?
- People on the stuck at home with work or quarantine
- People with anxiety or under a lot of stress
- People recovering from sports or fitness pain
- People with neck pain from work
- People with lower back pain
How do neck and shoulder massagers work?
Since most neck and shoulder massagers are really light weight, it’s very easy to pack away and take with you anywhere. The best part about neck and shoulders massagers is the convenience of highly therapeutic massage.
All you have to do is place the massage node on the areas you want to massage, turn on the device, and you’re in action. The various speeds allow you to control the level of intensity your muscles receive, making it really easy to enjoy a massage anywhere, anytime. It’s as simple as pushing a button.
And unlike portable pillows and foot massagers, the straps on a neck and shoulders device allow you to apply as much pressure to the area as you like. As you become familiar with your massager, you can just move to the next muscle area, applying heat and gentle three dimensional kneading pressure as desired anywhere on the body.
- Light weight
- Various Speeds
- Self Massage
What are some of the best ways to use a neck massager?
Using a neck and shoulders massager is quite straightforward, but there are a few steps you can follow to get the most out of your experience.
First, depending on the model of massager you have, either plug it in, or change up your wireless battery, before attempting to use it.
Second, place the nodes of your massager directly on the neck or shoulders that you want to work on.
Third, once you get the device in place, adjust your hands through the arm straps until the entire massager is balanced on the body and comfortably resting on the area you choose.
Fourth, turn on your massager on at the lowest setting. Once you find a setting you like, adjust the pressure with the arm straps, gently applying more pressure gradually.
Fifth, this is where you can turn on the heat settings. Many massage units come with a variable infrared heat system.
Aforementioned, please be aware, some people are sensitive to heat. It is advised to never touch the hot nodes directly to the skin. You can use a towel or cloth when applying thermal therapy.
Sixth, adjust the speed, and heat settings, according to your specific massage goals.
Seventh, breathe, relax and enjoy the healing properties of a deep heat therapeutic massage.
- Plug it in / charge it
- Put it on
- Put hands through the straps
- Turn it on
- Adjust speed / heat settings
- Breathe, relax and enjoy
Bottom Line: Why are neck massagers good for you to buy?
Besides the amazingly low prices of many of the most recent neck and back massagers available on the market now, there are lots of ways to use a neck and shoulders massager.
Not only can you put the nodes high up on your neck, which many of the massage pillows can not achieve very easily, but a neck massager device can also be used on the calves and arms as well as the lower back.
The hand strap feature on these devices allows you to apply pressure around your waist, legs and arms with ease. Making the overall functionality quite universal as a full body massage device.
Combined with the numerous health benefits that can be found from a neck and back massage device, you really can’t go wrong buying one for yourself or a loved one.
- Low Costs
- Multi-purpose capabilities
- Completely adjustable
- Many health benefits
- Great gift